Russia starts military cooperation with Iran

MOSCOW, 26 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.

Iran marked the anniversary of the lifting of the international arms embargo on October 18, 2020 by signing an arms contract with Russia. Although the exact details have not yet been disclosed, from the statement of the head of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, it can be concluded that this is not only about helicopters and aircraft, which Tehran has long wanted to acquire. The Iranian press citing it also mentions ground equipment, as well as ships and submarines. The possible amount of the contract is also mentioned – $5 billion.

How reliable all this is will be shown in the near future. But judging by the words of General Bagheri himself, the contract “for planes and helicopters” has already reached the final stage. It is included in the agenda of negotiations with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov.

Mohammad Bagheri arrived in Moscow for a four-day visit. The topic of the talks is a very wide range of issues, not limited only to the sensational purchase of weapons. The question is much broader.

Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali put it quite poetically: Iran wants to create a club for countries “affected by US sanctions.” With the participation of Russia and China. However, more seriously, we are talking about the creation of a permanent commission for military-technical cooperation. At this stage, it is bilateral, but in the future it allows China to join its activities.

And this is not only about the purchase of weapons. Although over the five years of the UN arms embargo, the Iranian army is in dire need of deep modernisation. We are now witnessing a large-scale fundamental shift at the level of big international politics.

Although the ban on arms supplies to Iran was officially lifted a year ago, none of its leading exporters was in a hurry to “make offers” to Tehran for fear of a sharp negative reaction from Washington. Now Moscow has shown that it does not care much about Washington’s possible discontent.

General Bagheri notes that Russian-Iranian cooperation encompasses not only the economic and military-technical spheres, the countries are successfully establishing direct close military interaction in Syria.

“We have been cooperating for more than ten years in the fight against terrorism. Especially in Syria. And we also support each other and advise on various issues that arise, including in the region and the world,” he said.

Thus, we can state that a new configuration of geopolitical and military confrontation with the West is taking shape before our eyes. What it will result in as a result, in the expansion of the powers of the SCO, in the development of the CSTO, or take some other form – these are already details. The main thing is that Russia is taking an active and active part in this process.

Institute for International Political and Economic Strategies – RUSSTRAT


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