Expert says Russia, Iran to develop roadmap for military and technical cooperation

TASS– A roadmap for developing military and technical cooperation between Russia and Iran will be worked out in the next four years, Senior Researcher of the Center for Middle East Studies Vladimir Sazhin said on Friday.

“Large-scale groundwork has been laid for the future,” the researcher said at a roundtable discussion titled: “Iran: A Year after the Cancellation of Sanctions Linked to its Nuclear Program.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the Iranian nuclear program that went into effect on January 16, 2016 prohibits the sale of heavy offensive armaments to Iran for five years and missile technologies and missiles for eight years.

“Now already four years have been left [until the embargo on the delivery of heavy offensive weapons to Iran is lifted]. I believe that precisely over this time a file will be worked out for developing military and technical cooperation,” the expert said.

The past year was “exceptionally fortunate” for Iran, the expert said.

“Annual inflation measured 7.5% at the end of the year. In 2012-2013, it was over 40% GDP grew by 7.4% from March to September 2016,” Sazhin said, adding that in the estimate of Iranian economists “this is the biggest process of the country’s development over the past 20 years.”

Meanwhile, military expert and Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Yevseyev said that the year 2016 had been “a year of unrealized hopes” for Iran.

“A lot of problems emerge on the way of implementing economic plans, in particular, the normal functioning of the banking system is absent and the internal legislative sphere does not work,” he said.

“However, Iran is considered by many countries as an objective partner,” he added.

Russia’s deliveries of S-300 antiaircraft missile systems have not solved all the problems, the expert said.

“The most important thing that Iran should primarily do is to restore its combat capability,” he said. “This also prompts the need to restore the Iranian Air Force and the Navy.”

“Russia can help, in particular, with aerodrome construction and pilot training,” the expert said.

“This will contribute to strengthening military and strategic partnership, he added. “Iran should have the skill to rightly choose a partner.”.