Russian media outlets are reporting that Saudi Arabia is negotiating a 2 billion dollars weapons deal with Russia which would include the sale of 150 helicopters (30 Mi-35 and 120 Mi-17), over 150 T-90C tanks, about 250 BMP-3 (infantry combat vehicle) armored vehicles and several dozens of anti-aircraft systems and complexes including the brand new S-400 Triumf missile system. In the meantime, Russia is also clearly delaying the sale of its S-300 missile system to Iran prompting some angry remarks from Iranian Chief of Staff of Iran’s Joint Armed Forces Hassan Firouzabad. Is this all a coincidence?
One needs to remember here that Saudi Arabia has often served as the USraelian Empire’s banker, providing money in support of US strategic objectives (the best examples of this are the war in Afghanistan and the US support for the Nicaraguan “Contras”). Why would Saudi Arabia, which has always relied almost exclusively on US made weapons systems, suddenly turn to Russia? Most definitely not because Russian weapons systems are better – which they undoubtedly are, by the way – as weapons purchases are almost never decided on the basis of technical capabilities. Three factors decide in such deals: the kickbacks given to the officials involved in the deal, the political pressures and allegiances of the countries involved and the offset agreements provided as an incentive by the parties (including, of course, even more kickbacks).
In this case, the US is as least as corrupt as Russia and can easily match any kickbacks, the political allegiances of the Saudis are clearly with the USA, and there is no way that Russia could offer better offset terms than the USA. Hence – the Saudi shopping spree, if confirmed and finalized, is definitely a reward for Russia’s reneging on the S-300 deal with Iran.
The Iranian military Chief of Staff Hassan Firouzabad is, of course, quite correct when he asks the key question: “Don’t Russian strategists realize Iran’s geopolitical importance to their security?“. While I am quite confident that Russian strategists understand this perfectly well, I am also inclined to believe that these strategists do not have the final say in Russian policy making. Call it the almighty Dollar, or Ruble, or Riyal – the bottom line is that the Russian government appears to favor short-term economic interests over long-term national security objectives. If that is true, that is very bad news indeed.
The agreement was signed two years ago when a delegation led by prince Saud went to Moscow
Last summer there were rumours that Saudis promised to increase the amount of arms purchased if Russians wouldn’t deliver the S-300 which seemed to be a done deal but apparently is not
It would appear that Russia has sold Iran down the river in exchange for the US not installing its missile shield in Poland and Czecho. Cynical and shortsighted in my opinion but typical of the quasi mafia oligarchs who rule Russia. I had hoped for better from Putin, who I had assumed might be a godfather but one with some paternalistic and patriotic concern for his country rather than an obsession with money to the exclusion of all else.
Quite obviously Russia should be strengthening Iran out of pure self interest.
Russia is indeed not entirely reliable from Iran’s perspective, but I tend to ask what should Iran do now rather than complain about Russia.
The Chinese have a SAM called the HongQi 9. I’m not a technical expert. Don’t know how good it is, but I’m guessing that its much better than nothing. The Chinese will be happy to sell it I think, and are less susceptible to U.S./Israeli pressure.
While not as good as the S-300, its probably a lot cheaper and so can be deployed in larger numbers. I recognize this is not ideal but maybe its worth a try.
In the meantime, Iran can console itself that Russia’s lack of reliability may work to its advantage. Once Russia receives payment from the Saudis, they may once again seek to sell the S-300. Bear in mind that the potential S-300 sale is now leverage Russia has over the U.S./Israel-and now Saudi Arabia-as well.
Russia’s behaviour is nothing new. Actually this is somewhat of an improvement on their historical ambitions and role in Iran. There is not much Iran can do to retaliate at the moment, but it can take solace in the fact that a Russia-Iran rivalry or even a weakened relationship will in the long run be at least as detrimental for Russian interests as it will be for Iran.
Iran’s alternate course of ation is clear:self sufficiency. It’s a path they are already on, and this incident will underline why they shouldn’t deviate from it.
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I still think that the Russians are hoping for a strike at Iran either by the Jews or the US, it may look cynical on the first sight but the ultimate target for Russia must be the Empire. It may take just one good push for the US on her rolling down to go past the point of return and a war with Iran could be the one. Sure Iran is important for Russia but there is a real chance to lure the US into a trap here. S-300 may just scare them off.
The other thing I wonder about is how effective could the S-300 be if its been sold to multiple countries already and the U.S. Israel already have copies of it? Couldn’t they take apart the radar or tracking system and figure out how to jam it by now? It may be that a less advanced system but that is unknown might be more effective.
The Jews claim that they’ve managed to crack the system and warn the Russians that not selling S-300 is in Russia’s interest as if the Jews would jam and destroy the SAMs it would kill the market for Russia. On the other hand they keep pressing Moscow not to sell S-300 as it would shift the balance of power in the region. But the Jews and Yankees seem to be very unhappy looking forward to facing SAMs of any kind so it’s hard to say if they really have cracked the S-300 or just bluffing.
The 400 system? hard to believe
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I don’t think it is in the best interest of Russia to sell its latest hightech weapon systems to a country like Saudi Arabia which is in one way of another a USA satellite state . Such sales will surely pass know how to the USA . Money is not everything , something that the Saudis don’t understand .
another thing to add would be that Saudi Arabia finally realizes how much trash and junk it stockpiled from purchasing US,British, and French arms long obsolete .