Improved Iran-Russia relations in light of nuclear deal

Alwaght- Recently, the head of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation has announced that the construction of the second unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran has started and is on schedule. It should be pointed out that the nuclear cooperation between Iran and Russia started long ago, and the construction of other power plants in Iran was on the agenda for a relatively long time.

In fact, when the contract for constructing Bushehr nuclear power plant was signed, another contract was signed to build several power plants in Iran. However, since many problems arose in operationalizing the first power plant, in practice both countries failed to reach to the intended level of nuclear cooperation.

It seems that in the current situation, as the obstacles and challenges have been removed, and Iran’s nuclear program is no longer caught in any dilemma, the international community has provided a well-worn path to nuclear cooperation between Iran and Russia. Accordingly, in near future Iran is likely to experience increased nuclear cooperation with Russia, and the Russian will continue to keep their position as the first nuclear partner of Iran. In fact, this is the strategic target for the Russians to continue their cooperation as the first nuclear partner of Iran and to participate in future nuclear projects in Iran.

Iran and Russia have also fostered cooperation on arms deals. With regard to militarily cooperation between Iran and Russia, it seems that such relations will be greatly improved in the future, as after the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, Iran has been one of the traditional customers of the Russian weapons.

Russia also regards Iran as a good market for its arms. This was rooted in two points. First, considering the intense relationship between Iran and the Western countries, Iran could not practically buy any weapons from many of those countries; and the second, many of them did not want to sell their weapons at all.

Nevertheless, Russia did not follow such unwritten law and sold weapons to Iran. On the other hands, because of their financial needs, the Russians saw Iran a good market for their arms; that is why over the past years, the bilateral cooperation and contracts between Russia and Iran have largely increased. However, as the severity of the sanctions attributed to the Iranian nuclear issue increased, the Iran-Russia military relations were also affected, and in one of its most important instances, Russia declined to deliver S-300 missiles to Iran.

Now that nuclear talks between Iran and the P5 + 1 have been finalized, the Russians do not wish to play in the same old way, and believe they can honor their previous contracts and resume executing them. That’s why they have voiced readiness to deliver S-300 missiles to Iran, which of course has many intricacies, as the S-300 missiles are no longer produced in Russia.

The Russian have upgraded the S-300 missiles, as currently Russia produces S-400 and S-500 missiles. Therefore, it seems that the two countries would have to reach an agreement over the contract. Meanwhile, such a deal could pave the way for more arms deals between Iran and Russia.

It seems that in the current situation, the Russians believe that arm deal with Iran not only is economically to Russia’s benefit, but also the arms embargo imposed on Iran by Western countries has disturbed the balance of power in the West Asia. On the one hand, the Western countries have imposed severe sanctions against Iran, and on the other hand, the Arab countries of the region have bought all kinds of military weapons from the Western countries and have equipped themselves. The Russians currently consider the balance of power in the West Asia in the light of arms sale to Iran.

By Alwaght