Russia Selling AntiCruise Missile Shield Defense Systems To Iran
Russia has signed the biggest arms deal since 2000, by an agreement with Iran to supply 29 TOR M-1 Antimissile defense systems designed to shoot down U.S. or Israeli cruise missiles and aircraft for $700 million dollars to the Tehran government.
These mobile anticruise missile defense systems also contain some protection against nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. These weapons feature an advanced computer system that makes these very similiar to the U.S. Patriot Missile systems in some ways. Only recently has Russian defense equipment been able to make use of such advanced integration of computers with their weapons systems. And a mobile use of such high tech technology will certainly present a great danger in the hands of Iran, which will no doubt study and reverse engineer some of the technology into their weapons systems.
Russia has been following a sort of dual track with Iran. On one hand they have displayed some public concern and also UN support for Iran to suspend any nuclear arms program, but have also been moving to build a new reactor in Iran and supply Iran with new weapons to protect against any U.S. or Israeli attack in the future. Russia continues to play both sides of this issue, and profiting from both sides.
Interestingly, only some slow payments to Russia from Iran have helped to slow the Iranian nuclear program somewhat. Iran failed to make payments for months on a new Russian reactor for example. By Iran being so unreliable in their payments has created their own self-imposed limitations on their nuclear efforts and so far held back their program more than UN or U.S. efforts have been able to so far.