The Kremlin likes the Iran deal.
In fact, Putin took some serious credit for it.
“The deal on Iran nuclear program is based on the approach articulated by President Vladimir Putin,” the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted on Tuesday.
Moscow added, in a statement released by the Kremlin, that the deal is means that its “bilateral relations with Iran will receive a new impetus and will no longer be influenced by external factors.”
The world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal on Tuesday to curb Iran’s nuclear program for at least 10 years in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.
It appears Russia is in a position to benefit both strategically and financially.
“Russia is … poised to benefit geopolitically from the nuclear accord, because Iran is likely to emerge from this process as a newly empowered state,” Paul N. Schwartz, a nonresident senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in a paper back in June.
Iran and Russia are the primary supporters of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, which has been fighting largely Sunni uprising for more than 4 years, and both oppose many Saudi initiatives.
“In general, such an outcome would accrue to the benefit of Russia, which stands to gain the most from a newly empowered Iran able to more effectively pursue its Middle East agenda,” Schwartz wrote.
Furthermore, Russia and Iran stand to benefit from some trade opportunities on nuclear fuel, military equipment, and sale of the advanced S-300 anti-missile system.
“Russia had long been Iran’s primary arms supplier, with total sales of nearly $US3.4 billion between 1991 and 2010,” Schwartz noted. “Russia hopes that the lifting of US sanctions will lead to a resumption of large-scale arms transfers.”
And at this point, “Iran’s military is in dire need of modern weapons, but because of ongoing disputes and residual mistrust, the West is unlikely to sell such weapons to Iran for some time to come, even after a deal is reached on the Iranian nuclear program,” he added.
Consequently, Moscow welcomes the new era and even appears to be calling for Iran — which the US considers the “the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism” — to join the international community’s fight against terrorism.
Hmm… Russian analyst on TV says that Iran will now have its hands untied and “be able to join the fight against international terrorism.”
— Andrew Roth (@ARothNYT) July 14, 2015