A uniter, not a divider
Posted by Charles II on August 19, 2015
M. K. Bradrakumar, ATimes
From all accounts, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had a highly successful visit to Moscow on Monday. The single biggest outcome of his talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov should be the signing of the contract for the delivery of upgraded S-300 missiles by Russia to Iran.
The official Russian media reported that the delivery of the missile systems will take place 30-40 days after the signing of the agreement in Moscow (which is expected to be on Aug. 25.)
There is much political symbolism here insofar as Moscow is plainly mocking at the timeline of the US Congress’s approval/disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal will be mid-September. Clearly, as far as Moscow is concerned, Iran’s integration with the world community is deemed to have happened already.
Of course, the S-300 is not covered by any sanctions, since it is categorized as a “defensive” weapon. Nonetheless, the White House has protested. And, to be sure, this time around Moscow will ignore the protest.
The American and Israeli experts have admitted that the S-300 will be a game changer in the strategic balance in the Middle East, since it is a formidable weapon that will make an air attack on Iran very prohibitively expensive.
But that is not the whole story. The fact remains that China is also waiting in the wings. A commentary in the government-owned China Daily on Monday was the latest report speculating on a deal in the pipeline for the supply by China of the J-10 multi-role fighter jet to Iran. The report suggested that not only is the J-10 a “good option for Iran … capable of performing air-to-surface strikes and anti-ship strikes” but “China is also very flexible in payment issues” and “it is highly possible that Chinese aviation industry will transfer technology used on the J-10 to buyers.”
The U.S. has certainly managed to unite all of our potential adversaries. A uniter, not a divider, as Dubya once said.
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