Ever since Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu went to Tehran in January to sign a military cooperation deal, the question had remained whether Vladimir Putin would take the next step of lifting the ban on the sale of S-300 rockets, originally imposed by Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 as part of the UN sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program. That question has been answered today: Putin has lifted the ban.
Additionally, Russia on Monday launched a new trading scheme with Iran, according to the Moscow Times:
“I wanted to draw your attention to the rolling out of the oil-for-goods deal, which is on a very significant scale,” [Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei] Ryabkov told Russian senators.
“In exchange for Iranian crude oil supplies, we are delivering certain products. This is not banned or limited under the current sanctions regime,” he added, declining to give more details.
That international sanctions regime, which President Obama has been so confident could be “snapped back” in case of Iranian backsliding on the terms of the deal, is looking less and less effective—thanks in large part to our friend Vladimir Putin.