MOSCOW – Providing weapons to Iran is the best Russia can do to help the Persian country, especially now that the possibility of the United States and its allies carrying out joint maneuvers in the region is growing. How could Moscow help Tehran by sea and land? Ilia Kramnik asks in the Izvestia newspaper.
Today, most of the military-technical cooperation with Iran is blocked by Resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council, which plans to maintain the sanctions regime to avoid supplying significant amounts of weapons and military equipment to Iran.
“There is no doubt that the United States will try to block the technical-military cooperation of other countries with Iran even after that date , but it is obvious that such a proposal from Washington has no option of being approved by the Security Council,” Kramnik said, remembering that Russia is in the Council.
Given the regular visits of Iranian military leaders to Russia, Kramnik assumes that negotiations on military supplies and their content are already under way.
Iranian Army is out of date
The military needs of the Iranian Armed Forces are summed up in the phrase ‘give me everything you have’, according to Kramnik: “the long-term sanctions have led to the majority of the military arsenal being made up of weapons from the 1960s and 1980s, and modern imports or the development of self-made models are rare,” he explained.
So, in general, Iran is focusing on reconditioning “air defense systems, both combat and detection, control and communications,” he said. The deliveries of the Russian S-300 systems and the presence of the Bavar-373 systems in the Air Defense Forces of Iran are examples. There are also efforts to dust the Air Force and missile systems, which allow counteracting the navies of NATO countries off the coast of Iran. Kramnik does not rule out that the Persian country is also interested in buying Russian Su-30 fighters.
Matter of time
Reconditioning and updating Iranian weapons takes time. “Even without taking into account the fact that there is still a year left before the ban on the supply of attack systems to Iran is officially lifted and nobody guarantees that the United States does not end up carrying out a military operation before,” says Kramnik.
“Given the political situation in the region, the response of Russia and China could be to provide military support to Iran in the context of the already initiated US operation, and then we would focus primarily on supplying weapons and equipment,” he adds.
However, it is difficult to predict the scale and consequences of a conflict of this nature. It is also predictable if carrying out Russian-Iranian maneuvers is sufficient to exclude the option of resolving the conflict by military means.
Be that as it may, for now the Russian Navy regularly patrols the Indian Ocean, although in recent years the frequency of these visits has decreased because so has piracy in the Horn of Africa.
Cooperation with Iran is mainly implemented in the Caspian Sea: ships and ships of the Russian Caspian Flotilla regularly visit the Iranian port of Bandar Anzali. However, despite the growing importance of that Russian flotilla – especially during the Syrian war – this cooperation has not gone beyond regional politics. Possible joint maneuvers in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, especially near the Strait of Hormuz, “are already a more serious matter,” he says.