RUSSIA-IRAN: MILITARY-POLITICAL COOPERATION AND ITS PROSPECTS
Sergey Minasian, Ph.D. (Hist.), lecturer, Departments of Applied Politology and of World Politics and International Relations, Russian-Armenian State University; research associate, Institute of History, Armenian National Academy of Sciences (Erevan, Armenia)
Prominent political scientists, analysts and journalists wrote a lot about the Russian-Iranian relations and their impact on regional issues. Recently, the large-scale geopolitical shifts that shook the Middle East added even more urgency to the subject. Here I have attempted to analyze the past and possible evolution of the military-political relations between the two countries and to answer the question: To which extent can the past and present of the relationships between Moscow and Tehran influence their future?
Throughout many centuries, up to the early 1960s, the relations between Russia and Iran remained cool. Some warmth was added by the statement issued by the Iranian government on 15 September, 1962, which said that Iran would never allow any state to deploy on its territory missiles targeted at the Soviet Union or to use it as a toehold to attack the U.S.S.R. Against the background of the relatively warm relations between the two countries and more lively trade and economic cooperation of the latter half of the 1960s the Soviet Union and Iran started cooperating in the sphere of military technology. The Islamic revolution and the downfall of the Shah followed by the war with Iraq (1980-1988) undermined the already established contacts.
Iraq that had launched the war contrary to the Soviet-Iraqi Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 1972 without consulting the Soviet Union irritated Moscow that immediately discontinued arms deliveries and offered Iran its weapons and help. At that time, Moscow’s efforts to establish allied relations with Tehran brought no fruit: it remained “the smaller Satan” to Imam Khomeini (to whom the U.S. was “the greater Satan”). The Iranian army, however, needed latest weapons to wage the war. The Western embargo forced Iran to start buying arms and military technology in the Soviet Union; its leaders even invited more Soviet military experts (before the war there had been two Soviet experts working in the country). In all, starting with 1967, 320 military experts worked in Iran according to governmental decisions and under Decision of the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers No. 2249 of 17 October, 1969. By the beginning of the war with Iraq about 500 Iranians had been already trained in Soviet military schools. On the whole, by 1 January, 1995, 632 people had been trained in Soviet/Russian military schools. Between 1982 and 1987 there was one senior military expert working in Iran; in 1987-1988 there was a group of 13 Soviet officers working there; until 1991, 141 military experts visited the country.1
According to different sources, during the Iranian-Iraqi war the Soviet Union supplied Iran with all sorts of weaponry, including tanks T-54 and T-62, armored personnel carriers 50P, portable surface-to-air missile systems Strela, etc. (Iraq received even greater quantities of the same.)
A New Stage
Late in the 1980s and early 1990s Iran in need of weapons to make up for the wartime losses started actively buying arms and armaments from China, North Korea, and the Soviet Union and even from some of the West European countries. Tehran got a comparatively free access to the world weapon markets when the international embargo on arms supplies had been lifted after the war with Iraq; its condemnation of the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait helped a lot. According to different sources, between 1988 and 1992 Iran bought nearly $4.5 billion worth of weapons and military machines ($2.2 billion-worth armaments came from the U.S.S.R.; $1.1 billion-worth, from China; $0.4 billion-worth, from European countries).2 One can say that in this sphere the Islamic Republic of Iran went on with what the Shah regime had been going before it: by the late 1970s the country had become the second largest (after Israel) weapon and military machines importer in the region. While under the Shah it bought arms from the United States the Islamic republic found other sources.
Since the late 1980s supplies of Soviet and, later Russian, weapons acquired special importance; in fact many Russia-produced weapon types were much more effective and up to the latest mark than those imported from other countries. Today, Iran has become the only Middle Eastern state the arms deliveries to which allowed Moscow to tie together the purely economic considerations and its geopolitical interests and the desire to preserve its influence in the region. Iran needs Russia to provide military equipment not available from Western sources (mainly for political reasons).3 Large-scale trade in Soviet/Russian weapons has tested bilateral political cooperation. We have to bear in mind that Iran is treating the northern neighbor with a great deal of mistrust and caution deeply rooted in the past.
In 1989-1991, the Soviet Union signed with Iran four agreements on military supplies. Under the agreement of 5 November, 1989 the Soviet Union sold to Iran 24 MiG-29A fighter planes, 12 Su-24MK bombers; two anti-aircraft missile systems S-200VE Vega and spare parts to the sum of nearly $1.3 billion. Under the agreements of 17 May, 1990 and 24 April, 1991 it was planned to sell to Tehran three submarines 877 EKM Varshavianka (“Cilo” according to NATO classification) and to equip the coastal submarine bases. Under the document signed on 13 November, 1991 it was planned to transfer the license and extend technical assistance in setting up production in Iran of 1,000 T-72 S tanks, 1,500 combat armored vehicles BMP-1 and BMP-2 and ammunition to them (to the total sum of $2.2 billion). In 1993-2000, Russia supplied 422 tanks, 413 combat armored vehicles and ammunition to the sum of $668m; as of late 2001 Russia had to deliver 578 tanks, 1,087 combat armored vehicles, license and technical documentation, technological equipment, ammunition, and services to the total sum of $1.5 billion.4
Cooperation in the military sphere was expected to go on under the agreement signed in Moscow in July 1991 by Marshal Evgeni Shaposhnikov and Commander of Iranian Air Forces General M. Sattari on arms supplies to Iran to the sum of $6 billion. According to different sources, under this and later agreements Tehran planned to buy 100 MiG-21 fighter planes; 48 MiG-31 fighter planes; 12 Tu-23 M3 strategic bombers, two AWACS aircraft A-50 based on Il-76, and other military equipment; Russia was expected to build in Iran a plant on which 126 MiG-29 planes would have been assembled under license.5
Because of economic problems Iran was unable to pay in full, therefore the majority of the agreements of that period remained on paper. On 30 June, 1995 then Premier of Russia Viktor Chernomyrdin and U.S. Vice-President Albert Gore singed a Gore-Chernomyrdin Memorandum under which Moscow pledged to fold up its deliveries to Iran of conventional weapons, military machines and services before 31 December, 1999 and refrain from new similar agreements in the future. Formally, this was prompted by the fact that Washington accused Tehran of supporting international terrorism. At the same time, all contacts between the Russian and Iranian armed forces were frozen till the beginning of 2000.6
Early in 2000 when more pragmatically minded people came to power in the military-political sphere in Russia who preferred to deal with export of weapons and military machines to any country (Iran included) without asking third countries’ permission military-technical cooperation resumed. This was also prompted by the two countries’ shared geopolitical interests. The prospects considerably brightened up in November 2000 when Russia withdrew from the Gore-Chernomyrdin Memorandum. Tehran attached great importance to this step: on 24 November, 2000 the Iranian state radio went as far as saying that this should be regarded as Iran’s great victory.
Today, the Iranian government is paying much attention to the further development of its armed forces: there is a vast modernization program (the approximate cost of which is $8 billion) to be completed in 25 years. The Iranian leaders regard Russia as their main partner; Iran can become the third largest importer of Russian weapons after China and India. There is information that in the nearest future Iran will buy long-range surface-to-air missile systems S-300 PMU-1 and S-300 PMU-2 (up to 8 battalions); a short-range surface-to-air missile system Top-M 1; 25 Mi-17-1B helicopters; 8 Su-25 T ground-attack aircraft; 1,000 Igla-1E portable surface-to-air missile systems (to the total sum of about $2 billion). Iran is interested in other Russian weapons, Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter planes; T-80 U and T-90 S tanks, and BUK-M 1 surface-to-air missile systems.7 A contract on buying 550 BMP-3 combat armored vehicles is ready for signing; purchase of the Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missile system and the Iskander-E operational-tactical missile system is negotiated.8 According to foreign experts in the nearest future Iran may buy over $7 billion-worth Russian weapons and military equipment.9
There is information that the Russian military-industrial complex is actively helping Iran to modernize certain weapon systems bought in the West before the Islamic revolution. In 2002, the country demonstrated for the first time an experimental model of a perspective Iranian Shafagh combat aircraft based on F-4 plane—serial production is planned for 2008. They say that this and another perspective Iranian fighter based on the American F-5 plane used by the Iranian army was designed with the help of the Russian Mikoian and Sukhoi design bureaus.10
The 2001-2002 results disappointed the Russian exporters. Tehran’s insolvency may seriously hamper the two countries’ military-political ties even though the latest war in Iraq should have stimulated Iranian imports of arms and equipment.11 According to Western forecasts “the expensive military build-up pursued by Khatami” may overturn the balance inside the country. In the early 1970s, “Western governments and corporations, with the United States in the lead, were happy to sell, with little consideration on either side of possible negative consequences.” This was one of many causes of the 1979 Islamic revolution and the fall of the Shah regime. One can expect that the present socioeconomic problems may negatively affect the future of the country’s military-technical cooperation with Russia.12
Common logic suggests, however, that Iran (in view of Iraq’s sad experience) will find money to buy at least up-to-date Russian antiaircraft systems needed to counter potential attack of American aviation. The Iranians might be interested not only (and not so much) in the famous (and expensive) S-300 long-range systems (and their modifications) but in Top-M 1 short-range surface-to-air missile systems and Pantsir and Tunguska air-defense missile/gun systems. Their export to other countries has demonstrated that while they can be delivered within comparatively short period of time S-300 deliveries may take years to be completed.
The Iranians may be further stimulated by the current rumors and publications about a possible U.S. and/or Israeli preventive air raids on the Iranian nuclear objects, in particular, on the atomic power station in Bushehr (to be commissioned in 2004) being built together with Russian specialists.
There are people in both capitals (in Russia they are also found among the military-political elite and the generals) who disapprove of this cooperation. Marshal Igor Rodionov (former Defense Minister of Russia) late in 1996 listed Iran, together with Turkey and Pakistan, among the main sources of threat to Russia’s security. Some of the Russian experts in the East tend to agree with him: “Military aid to Iran can potentially bring together the domestic Islamic extremist threat and the external threat created by the fundamentalist Muslim regime in Tehran. The threat created by a certain form of Muslim self-assertion, either religious or national, may increase due to foreign support and deliveries of conventional weapons to rebel extremists. The level of threat may escalate. If we fail to stem such support to the extremist forces in the south of Russia they may acquire weapons of mass destruction.”13 Russian security experts have pointed out that active military-technical cooperation with Iran is directly connected with the problems and limitations caused by the need of ensuring Russia’s security.
The limitations are the following: Moscow does not want Tehran to acquire WMD and delivery means able to reach Russia’s territory (the list includes a considerable number of medium-range missiles), therefore Russia should strictly abide by its obligation to control proliferation of missile technologies. For the national security considerations the country is not interested in raising Iran’s military-technical and production potential. From this it follows that Moscow should continue selling its military products but not technologies.14
The geopolitical component may also affect the military-technical cooperation between the two countries. Many Russian politicians and experts are very cautious (or even skeptical) about a stream of statements coming from Russia and the West (especially from the United States) about Moscow-Tehran geopolitical axis or even possible “strategic alliance” between them. There is an opinion in Russia that this cooperation should be limited to arms supplies (latest technologies excluded) and coordinated (not joint) actions in regional policies.
Otherwise, these people say, Russia will find itself in a quandary, that is, it will have to choose between continued advantageous economic and political ties with Iran and its continued membership in the democratic club. One should say that the choice was predetermined when Russia rejected the totalitarian communist regime and opted for the liberal democratic ideas. What is more, Moscow belongs to European civilization and is not prepared to go ahead with an anti-American or (even less so) anti-NATO “pseudo-Eurasian” alliance with Iran despite serious problems and disagreements. In fact, Russia has not been confronted with this alternative—otherwise it would have found it hard to cope with it (if Iran or the United States created this need). There is no doubt that Moscow profits from active trade and economic contacts with Tehran—it is strengthening its positions in the Iranian market and creating a toehold from which to move to other spheres of bilateral economic basically pragmatic relations (the military-technical relations, in the first place).15
There is no agreement on cooperation with Russia in Iran either: its political and religious elites as well as its power structures have their doubts. Iranian armed forces consist of two parts—the Artesh and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC, or Pasdaran Inkilab). There is an opinion that “the Artesh views Moscow as a possible, though hardly dependable, ally against U.S. pressure and as an important source of military hardware and software. The Artesh looks to Russia for training and also for the supply of spares and technical know-how.” Some officers, while complaining about the Russian suppression of the Chechen rebels, speak positively of Russia’s role in stabilizing Central Asia and the Caucasus.
The IRGC set up during the war with Iraq as the main pillar of the ruling theocratic regime “is far more critical of Russia, but it swallows its concerns for realpolitik reasons.” The IRGC is more critical of Russia’s policy in the Northern Caucasus and “sees Russia as a decadent, weak, and corrupt society, which colors its perspective on Iranian-Russian relations. The IRGC’s concern, however, is tempered by its reliance on Russia for many weapons systems and support technology.”16
Contrary to the opinion widely accepted by the expert community that the “hard-liners” and the top crust of the Shi‘a clerics are very restrained or even pessimistic when it comes to cooperation with Russia, they may show more consistency as supporters of military-political and military-technical cooperation with Moscow if their country improves its relations with the West and especially with the United States.
According to American and Israeli experts, “by successfully capitalizing on Iran’s own political ambitions and internal concerns, Russia has added impetus to hard-line elements within Iranian society opposed to an economic and political rapprochement with the U.S. In sum, sheer competence has allowed Russian diplomats to identify the personal interests and prejudices of the mullahs with those of Moscow so that Iran’s ruling class has come to view cooperation with Russia as the main prop for its own self definition—less love of Islam than hate of America.
“Interestingly, many of Iran’s hardest hard-liners were trained in the Soviet Union... (indeed, Iran’s spiritual leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was himself a graduate of the Patrice Lumumba University).” The legacy of Soviet mentality and certain economic and social principles is strong enough among these hard-line nationalists. Combined with the Khomeini doctrines and the Islamic values this legacy strengthens an opinion among them (and the public at large) that they need a military-political cooperation with Moscow or an alliance with it.17
The Main External Limitation
The United States, the key opponent of the military-technical cooperation between Russia and Iran, that at the very beginning resolutely condemned it and warned against possible negative consequences of resumed cooperation, had to reconcile itself to Russia’s arms supplies to Iran. There is an opinion (especially pronounced after 9/11) that worsened relations with Russia will serve no useful purpose.
Before that the White House and U.S. Congress were supported by experts of the leading American analytical centers in their harsh criticism of the military-political contacts between Tehran and Moscow; they recommended the U.S. administration to introduce harsher sanctions not only against individual Russian companies as this had been done in the past. The analysts of the extreme right Heritage Foundation (Dr. Ariel Cohen, in particular) concentrated on the Iranian imports of Russian conventional weapons as contradicting the American policies of stemming the WMD proliferation. They suggested that the presidential administration should resort to much more consistent and aggressive policies in relation to the two capitals and outlined a set of corresponding measures:
- Maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf to deter and defend against Iranian aggression; strengthen U.S. military ties to the Gulf Cooperation Council and encourage the council’s members to form a more effective military alliance;
- Ensure that no U.S. enterprises or government credits contribute to Iran’s
- buildup of missiles or development of weapons of mass destruction;
- prevent American investors from subsidizing Russian projects that generate revenue for the Iranian government that could be used to purchase advanced military technology;
- Task the interagency WMD working group at the National Security Council with designing a strategy for sanctioning Russia and Iran because of their proliferation activities;
- Support the rescheduling (?!) of Russia’s $150 billion debt to the Paris Club only in exchange for Moscow’s active cooperation in cutting the flow of advanced military technology and dual purpose technologies to Iran.18
The words pronounced by Viktor Iliukhin, deputy of the RF State Duma, were a symbolic response of Russia’s. He said that the official ties between the two countries date back to the times when America had not yet been discovered by Columbus and that it was not for the United States to instruct Russia about its relations with Iran, one of its closest neighbors.
The terrorist acts of 9/11 and Moscow’s active involvement in the antiterrorist coalition have cooled down the invectives against the Russian-Iranian cooperation in the military and nuclear energy production spheres.
American politicians and experts started admitting that for Russia relationships with Iran are much more important than for the United States. On 12 September, 2001 The Washington Times quoted one of the leading American experts on Iran Brenda Shaffer (who is involved in the Caspian studies program, works at Harvard University and has written a famous book about the Russian-Iranian relations) as saying that for Russia Iran was of the same importance as Mexico for the United States, therefore Washington should offer Moscow serious stimuli to persuade it to change these relations. America could not do this. Russia and Iran had certain shared strategic interests while for the United States its relations with Iran would remain of secondary importance forever.19
The latest recommendations of the Heritage Foundation do not contain the clause about “designing a strategy for sanctioning Russia”; it has admitted that partnership with Iran is economically important for Russia though they do insist on continued harsh sanctioning individual firms (such measures should be limited to the exporters of nuclear and missile technologies). The Foundation speaks about the need to use the following channels:
- “Develop consultations between the senior levels of the U.S. and Russian governments to prevent a grave confrontation over Russian proliferation policies toward Iran.
- “Offer Russia an economic quid-pro-quo in exchange for full disclosure of past nuclear assistance and ending the technology transfer to Iran—if such cut-off will derail the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”20 (Here possible new Russian nuclear projects in Iran rather than the Bushehr nuclear power station are meant.)
The outcome of the latest war in Iraq has also introduced certain changes: according to Russian experts, on the eve of “possible” American strikes at Tehran Russia will not venture to exporting high-tech weapons (especially air-defense systems) to Iran. It is interesting to note that at no time did the U.S. and Israel objected to tank deliveries to Iran and Iraq in the same way as they objected even to vague rumors about possible deliveries of air-defense systems.21
The Regional Problems Factor
Numerous studies of the Russian-Iranian relations speak of the objectively similar geopolitical interests of both countries, therefore I shall not go into details here. I shall limit myself to quoting Dina Malysheva, a prominent Russian Orientalist, who said that in the 1990s Russia and Iran needed one another especially because Tehran’s regional possibilities in the Southern Caucasus (as elsewhere in the post-Soviet territory) were limited while Russia, its current weakening notwithstanding, still remains an influential military-political force in the region. This was why both countries profited from their cooperation.22
This contributed to other South Caucasian countries’ security (Armenia, in particular, Russia’s main strategic partner in the region). “As a result of Iran’s interests and policies, Armenia sees Tehran as another power that can counter-balance Turkey’s activity in the region. There are no territorial issues between Iran and Armenia, and religious questions play no role in disrupting relations between the Islamic Republic and Christian Armenia.”23
Putin’s advent to power introduced an element of doubt into the relations between Russia and Iran. On the one hand, Moscow withdrew from the Gore-Chernomyrdin Memorandum and stated that it was prepared to develop its cooperation with Iran in the nuclear energy and arms export sphere without consulting the United States. On the other, unexpectedly for many politicians and experts the two capitals failed to see eye to eye on certain issues. And while their military-technical cooperation hardly suffers their political contacts and regional cooperation will undoubtedly be affected.
For example, the Treaty on Foundations of Relations and Principles of Cooperation between Russia and Iran sighed in March 2001 during the Moscow visit of President Khatami stated: “If one of the sides is exposed to an aggression of some state, the other side must not give any help to the aggressor.” According to certain observers, this means that Moscow would not be obliged to help Iran in case of a hypothetical American attack. What is more, this would allow Moscow to stand aside should the United States one day attack Iran.24 Together with the somewhat improved Russian-Azerbaijani relations and Russia’s position on the Caspian status (that contradicts that of Iran’s) the relations between Moscow and Tehran have become clouded with other issues. The Kremlin’s fairly harsh response to the much-discussed incident of 23 July, 2001 when Iranian ships supported by aviation pushed an Azerbaijani research ship out of a contested Caspian sector came as an unpleasant surprise for Tehran.25
There is an opinion in Tehran that Moscow has moved away from Iran threatened by the United States; some of the Iranian politicians are accusing Russia of “political immaturity” and have voiced their concern over its military exercises on the Caspian. The Iranian political community is concerned with strengthening Russia’s military-political presence in the region manifested by a new addition to the RF Caspian Fleet—a large patrol vessel Ghepard.26 Those who have vast diplomatic experience of working in Iran say that Iran’s foreign policy is the least public political sphere due to centuries-old diplomatic traditions. Quite often public statements on diplomatic issues have little in common with the country’s real political line and merely address domestic and foreign political purposes.
The above should not be interpreted as cutting down political contacts between the two countries: in fact, recently Moscow and Tehran have started talking about the need to deepen their cooperation in all spheres. In reality, however, the regional problems that seem to bring Russia and Iran closer together turn out to be political stumbling blocks.
Despite numerous statements coming from both sides that the relations between Russia and Iran can be described as “strategic partnership” their relations will hardly reach the military-political alliance level. Their positions on many issues are drifting apart: division of the Caspian; Russia’s more and more obvious pro-Western bias, etc. At the same time, Moscow will never abandon its promising and widening export of armaments to Iran with the exception of latest missile technologies and, probably, long-range air-defense systems. In other spheres Moscow will hardly lend an ear to criticism, argumentation and financial promises coming from other countries. Tehran’s solvency is the weightiest argument in this sphere.
Iran’s better or worsened relations with the United States (or a military conflict between the two countries) are the only factor able to seriously affect the military-political (but not military-technical) cooperation between Moscow and Tehran. One of the worst effects of the U.S.-led military operation in Iraq for both countries is the ever-mounting American pressure on Russia. Its aim is to persuade Moscow to stem its military-technical cooperation with Tehran.27
On the whole Washington has reconciled itself to the fact that it will never persuade Moscow to discontinue its export of armaments to Iran, yet it is prepared to insist on individual highly important issues (supplies of S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, nuclear and dual purpose technologies and equipment). Russia will never do this on its own initiative. Sanctions will hardly be introduced once more mainly because the earlier American sanctions against Iran and its suppliers of military equipment (several Russian companies included) did not bring the desired results.
A possibility of an American attack against the nuclear power station in Bushehr and its effect on the Russian-Iranian relations cannot be discussed here for want of space.
In any case the fairly stable level of military-technical cooperation between the two countries will survive; there are objective factors conducive to this, one of them being the need to replace the Western armaments now used by the Iranian army. Nearly 90 to 95 percent of them were supplied more than 25 years ago; they have become morally obsolete yet they can hardly be replaced with latest Western weapons. On the other hand, the ever-increasing volume of imported Russian arms (especially the air-defense systems and aviation) demands an even greater volume of services and modernization. The best Iranian aircraft (MiG-29, Su-24 and Su-25) are no match to the aircraft used by the armies of the U.S. and its allies in the region and are not completely suited to contemporary warfare. They need costly modernization.
The following priorities of cooperation with Russia may come to the fore in the long term if the military-political situation in the region remains relatively stable:
- Importing new (and modernizing old) latest air-defense systems of varied ranges, radar stations, automatic air-defense control and communication systems to set up an integrated air-defense system of important military and industrial objects (plants, aviation and naval bases; large cities, launching pads of “ground-to-ground” missiles including those on the islands);
- Buying new coastal defense complexes of the Bereg type and land- and air-based anti-ship missiles of the Moskit type;
- Building up submarine navy which means that the country needs one or two diesel submarines (877 EKM or even 677 Amur types), modernization of the already used Club cruise missiles;
- Exporting guided “surface-to-air” missiles (long-range antiradar missiles, as well as guided missiles and bombs to enhance the efficiency of the Su-24 MK bombers, the main striking component);
- Modernizing the already used and buying 15-20 MiG-29s with adequate missile equipment (including PVV-AE “air-to-air” missiles);
- Buying or jointly designing AWACS aircraft (based on A-50 or An-140) and a new fighter plane (something like a Russian-Indian Su-30 MKI);
- Buying state-of-the-art air-cushion LSDs (2 or 3 ships);
- Exporting or jointly designing and building a new ship of the corvette or frigate class;
- Long-term program of modernization of Soviet/Russian armored vehicles;
- Modernization program for small arms.28
The above permits a conclusion that despite its financial problems Iran will come third (after China and India) as an importer of Russian weapons and military equipment.
It seems that in the nearest future the two countries will preserve the same restrained and pragmatic approach to bilateral cooperation despite an obvious irritation demonstrated by the United States and its regional allies and their political pressure. This approach stems from the independent course of relationships between Moscow and Tehran, from their willingness to develop their mutually advantageous military-technical, trade, economic, scientific and cultural contacts.
1 See: Rossia (SSSR) v lokal’nykh voynakh i voennykh konfliktakh vtoroy poloviny XX veka, ed. by V.A. Zolotarev, RF Defense Ministry Publishers, Moscow, 2000, p. 212.
2 See: Iran’s Military Forces: 1988-1993, CSIS, Washington, 1994, pp. 22-24.
3 See: O. Antonenko, “Russia’s Military Involvement in the Middle East,” Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2001, p. 33.
4 See: L. Severtsev, “Rossia-Iran: druzhba navek?” Nezavisimaia gazeta, 5 April, 2001; I. Korotchenko, “Rossia i Iran vozobnovili sotrudnichestvo?” Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie, 12 January, 2001.
5 See: Iran’s Military Forces: 1988-1993, p. 24; I. Safranchuk, “Ne boytes ayatolly s ruzh’em,” Moskovskie novosti, 4 December, 2000.
6 See: I. Korotchenko, op. cit.
7 See: L. Severtsev, op. cit.
8 See: A. Gusher, “Vozmozhna li os Moskva-Tehran?” Azia i Afrika segodnia, No. 1, 2001, p. 32.
9 See: “Russia’s Arms for Iran,” Jane’s Intelligence Digest, 8 December, 2000.
10 See: R. Hewson, “Iran’s New Combat Aircraft Waits in the Wings,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, 20 November, 2002, p. 15.
11 See: K. Makienko, “Posledniy rekord russkogo oruzhia,” Ekspert, 3 February, 2003.
12 See: M. Rubin, “What Are Iran’s Domestic Priorities?” Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2002, pp. 27-30.
13 A.M. Khazanov, “Politika Rossii na Blizhnem i Srednem Vostoke,” in: Blizhniy Vostok: Problemy regional’noy bezopasnosti. Compiled by M.R. Arunova, IIIBV, RAEN, Moscow, 2000, pp. 199-202.
14 For more detail, see: I. Safranchuk, “Iadernye i raketnye programmy Irana i bezopasnost Rossii: ramki rossiisko-iranskogo sotrudnichestva, Part 1,” Nauchnye zapiski PIR-Tsentra (Moscow), No. 8, 1998.
15 See: V.I. Sazhin, “Rossia i Iran: Problemy strategicheskoy perspektivy,” Blizhniy Vostok i sovremennost, Issue 4, ed. by M.I. Stempel, IIIBV, Moscow, 1997, pp. 259-267; idem, “Kakovy ramki rossiisko-iranskogo partnerstva?” Nezavisimaia gazeta, 1 March, 2001.
16 D.L. Byman, Sh. Chubin, A. Ehteshami, J. Green, Iran’s Security Policy in the Post-Revolutionary Era, RAND, Santa-Monica, 2001, pp. 59-62.
17 See: I. Berman, “Russia and the Mideast Vacuum,” IASPS Research Papers in Strategy (Jerusalem-Washington), No. 12, June 2001, p. 22.
18 See: A. Cohen, “Putin’s Foreign Policy and U.S.-Russian Relation,” The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, No. 1406, 18 January, 2001; A. Cohen, J.A. Phillips, “Countering Russian-Iranian Military Cooperation,” The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, No. 1425, 5 April, 2001 [www.heritage.org].
19 See: D.R. Sands, “Putin Supports U.S. War on Terrorism, Resists Pressure to Sever Ties with Iran,” The Washington Times, 12 September, 2001.
20 A. Cohen, “Russia and the Axis of Evil: Money, Ambition, and U.S. Interests,” The Heritage Foundation Testimony, 26 February, 2003; idem, “Preventing Crisis in U.S.-Russian Relations Over Moscow’s Nuclear Technology Exports,” The Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum, No. 863, 3 March, 2003 [www.heritage.org].
21 For more detail, see: K. Makienko, “Irakskiy krizis i situatsia na rynke vooruzheniy,” Eksport vooruzheniy, January-February 2003.
22 See: D.B. Malysheva, “Iran i problemy regional’noy bezopasnosti Zakavkaz’ia. Materialy shestogo zasedania rossiisko-iranskogo ‘kruglogo stola,’ Moscow, 15-16 February, 2000,” in: Blizhniy Vostok i sovremennost, Issue 9, ed. by V.A. Isaev, A.O. Filonik, IIIBV, Moscow, 2000, pp. 358-360.
23 G. Novikova, “Armenia and the Middle East,” Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2000, pp. 61-63.
24 See: R.O. Freedman, “Putin and the Middle East,” Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2002, pp. 3-4.
25 See: “Gunboat Diplomacy on the Caspian,” RFE/RL Iran Report, Vol. 4, No. 28, 30 July, 2001.
26 See: V. Novikov, “Iran v amerikanskoy ‘vilke’,” Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie, 7 June, 2002.
27 See: A. Terekhov, “Pentagon vzialsia za Iran: Washington usilit davlenie na Moskvu v sviazi s ee sotrudnichestvom s Teheranom,” Nezavisimaia gazeta, 26 May, 2003.
28 For more detail, see: A. Trofimov, “Analiz vzgliadov rukovodstva Irana na voenno-tekhnicheskoe sotrudnichestvo i perspektivy Rossii v regione,” IIIBV, Moscow, 10 April, 2003; K. Terenkov, “Modernizatsia vooruzhennykh sil IRI i perspektivy irano-rossiiskogo voenno-tekhnicheskogo sotrudnichestva,” IIIBV, Moscow, 26 May, 2003.