The Wall Street Journal reports: Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee for Russia’s upper house of parliament, wrote online that the deal was a “win-win” agreement that “proves international mechanisms are working.”
“This is very positive news that gives us hope not just on the Iranian issue, but on many others, including in the Middle East and in Europe (Ukraine),” he wrote.
Fainter praise from other politicians, however, underscored the diplomatic difficulties ahead for Russia, which may find its hand weakened as Iran and the West grow closer.
Alexei Pushkov, chairman for the foreign affairs committee of Russia’s lower house, suggested the achievement was overshadowed by the “significant dangers” posed by U.S. Republican lawmakers who have promised to reject the deal.
“It is the aggressive irresponsibility of the American Congress and its members, which is evident both in its attitude toward Russia and in its attitude toward Iran,” he said. “To what degree can we trust the American executive branch if part of Congress believes that it is possible to disavow an agreement with an American signature on it?”
Iran is one of Russia’s few remaining allies in the Middle East, along with the Shiite minority regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has few friends among the predominantly Sunni nations in the region.
Under heavy pressure from the West, Russia was forced to scrap an $800 million contract to deliver the S-300 missile system to Iran in 2007. The military official told Interfax that a new contract could possibly include the S-300 system, as well as a range of other equipment. [Continue reading…]