Russia has voted for tougher U.N. sanctions on Iran and has frozen a deal to send anti-aircraft missiles to that country.
The conventional wisdom is that Russia’s economic interests in Iran have led Moscow to be a strong supporter of that country, opposing any tough United Nations sanctions against Tehran over its alleged nuclear weapons program.
But many experts, including John Parker with the National Defense University [expressing his personal views] say relations between Russia and Iran have been worsening.
“They are probably at their lowest point since 1997 when both sides cooperated in bringing the Tajik civil war to a close,” he said. “Right now, trade does not amount to that much, a fact that a lot of people don’t realize. Russian-Iranian trade is, at its high point, around $3.5 billion a year. And this is not really much more than Russia’s trade with Israel, whose population is about a tenth the size of Iran. Iran does a lot more trading with Turkey, for example, and even more trading with China. So economic relations are not much.”