WINEP published Will Russia Help the United States with Iran? by Mark N. Katz
To me, this reminds Russia I know (expletives omitted here, emphasis added below).
Russia’s recent decision not to sell the S-300 antiaircraft missile system to Iran (at least for now) raised hopes that Moscow would cooperate more fully in the effort to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. Recent statements from Russian leaders indicating that they were on board with the U.S. strategy further buoyed optimism. Despite these promising signs, however, there is strong reason to doubt that Moscow’s cooperation will continue.
Like Europe, Israel, the United States, and most Arab governments, Russia does not want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. The expectation that this will lead to joint Russian-American cooperation, however, is seriously mistaken. Moscow does not want Iran to either voluntarily renounce or be forcefully prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons if — as Moscow fears — this results in a diminution of Russia’s value to Iran as a protector or partner. Even a nuclear-armed Iran would be preferable to Moscow than this prospect.
Moscow has little interest in working with Washington to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for two important reasons:
First, Moscow has reasonably good — though not untroubled — relations with Tehran. Russian firms profit from selling arms and nuclear technology to Iran, and Russian petroleum firms are actively seeking to invest in the Iranian oil and gas sectors. Moscow is also deeply appreciative that Tehran has not supported Chechen or other Muslim rebels in Russia, or challenged Moscow’s influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Moscow does not want to jeopardize any of this by seriously cooperating with Washington against Tehran. What Moscow would prefer instead is that others — the United States, Europe, Israel, or some combination — take the lead in confronting Tehran on the nuclear issue. If they succeed in getting Iran to halt its efforts, then Russia gains by avoiding the strategic challenge of having another nuclear power in its neighborhood. But if they fail to halt this activity, Moscow prefers that these actors — and not Russia — be the focus of Iran’s ire. This is especially true if Iran actually acquires nuclear weapons.
If this is true, it is not the first time Russia warns Israel’s potential enemies.
DEBKAfile’s Iranian and intelligence sources disclose that Moscow warned Tehran Friday April 17 that Israel was planning to destroy all 140 fighter-bombers concentrated at the Mehr-Abad Air Force base for an air show over Tehran on Iran’s Army Day the following day. The entire fleet was accordingly removed to remote bases and the display cancelled.
If this provocative “warning” sounds familiar, it should: How The USSR Planned To Destroy Israel in 1967
The Soviet warning to Egypt about supposed Israeli troop concentrations on the Syrian border in May 1967 has long been considered a blunder that precipitated a war which the USSR neither desired nor expected. New evidence from Soviet and other Warsaw Pact documents, as well as memoirs of contemporary actors, contradicts this accepted theory. The author demonstrates that this warning was deliberate disinformation, part of a plan approved at the highest level of Soviet leadership to elicit Egyptian action that would provoke an Israeli strike. Soviet military intervention against the “aggressor” was intended to follow and was prepared well in advance.
The emphasis is mine.
Maybe Russia is not at the leading edge of the high-tech industry, but one thing they know is reverse engineering. That is why they don’t need to buy many. So, coming soon: expect Russian clones at an unscrupulous arms dealer/rogue state/terrorist org. near you.
RIA Novosti: Russia Signs Deal to Buy Israeli Drones
The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a deal with an Israeli company to buy several unmanned aerial vehicles, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said Friday. … a contract signed with Israel Aerospace Industries envisioned the purchase of the Bird-Eye 400 mini-UAV (range-10 km), I-view MK150 tactical UAV (100 km), and Searcher Mk II medium-range UAV (250 km).
Popovkin said the purchase was a temporary measure designed “to show our industry what it [a spy drone] is.” “We will rely on our own equipment to fight wars,” he said.
Hat tip: Daily Alert