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Russia eyes Iranian arms deal after Lausanne

Russian officials are promoting the prospect of major arms sales to Iran after the Lausanne agreement, but any such deals appear to be an impossibility in the near term.
S-300 air defence mobile missile systems drive through Ukraine's Independence Day military parade in the centre of Kiev August 24, 2014. Armoured vehicles and soldiers, some of them hardened in battle, paraded on Kiev's main square on Sunday to mark Independence Day in a defiant show of the military force Ukraine's government hopes will defeat pro-Russian separatists in the east.   REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY MILITARY) - RTR43I1W
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One of the many unanswered questions surrounding the so-called framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is whether and how it will limit Russia’s arms trade with Iran, including Moscow’s long-standing interest in selling advanced surface-to-air missiles. In fact, managing the Russian-Iranian military relationship may become increasingly difficult if the negotiating parties reach a final agreement by their self-imposed June deadline.

For the United States and Israel, one of the most controversial Russian-Iranian transactions was the 2007 contract to sell S-300 surface-to-air missiles, which officials in both countries considered a potentially serious obstacle to any military action targeting Iranian nuclear sites. In September 2010, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree blocking the S-300 sale, as well as other conventional arms sales to Iran. Medvedev’s action followed UN Security Council Resolution 1929, approved in June 2010, banning the sale to Iran of “battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems.”

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