Russia and Iran just showed how 'they can do whatever they like' right nowComing soon to Tehran? S-300 missiles on parade in downtown Moscow.Iran and a US-led group of countries consisting of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany (called the P5+1) still have a ways to go before they reach a final nuclear deal.
But one P5+1 member is already acting as if the nuclear issue has been settled. On April 13th, the Kremlin retracted its hold on the transfer of S-300 missiles to Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported. Iran and Russia had inked a contract to deliver the weapons in 2007, but the deal was shelved under international pressure and the embargo on arms transfers to Iran that the UN Security Council passed in 2010. Russia is now announcing its intention to send one of the world’s most advanced anti-aircraft systems to Iran, notwithstanding that embargo — and against mounting evidence that the nuclear issue is actually far from resolved. The Pentagon has already slammed the move, while Israel is already framing it as an unsavory result of apparent diplomatic progress on the nuclear front. US Secretary of State John Kerry has also raised a complaint with Moscow. Tom Nichols, a professor at the Naval War College and an expert on Russian affairs, told Business Insider that the announcement and its timing both show just how little of an impact US policy is currently having on global affairs — and on Russia and Iran in particular. “That deal represents a lot of money to Russia and a system Iran wants,” says Nichols. “From their perspective, why bother waiting? What price would be paid if they do it? This is what happens when other countries in the world feel they can act as if the United States doesn’t exist.” MORE