The Iranians are sidling up to Mother Russia, as the AP reports:
Iran’s defense minister is visiting Moscow for talks about closer military cooperation.
Gen. Hossein Dehghan met Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin and also also with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu hailed a “high level of mutual trust” between Moscow and Tehran and their readiness to coordinate policies.
Dehghan said in an interview with Russian state television that Tehran wants to expand military and technical ties with Russia.
We’ve written before about Iran’s deepening military ties with Russia, as well as the expansion of their ballistic missile program in defiance of some of the provisions of the nuclear deal. Russia already has a contract to deliver advanced long range surface-to-air missiles to Iran (the first shipment will arrive Thursday), and Tehran has expressed interest in other weapons systems including Su-30 fighter jets.
Needless to say, this is presumably not exactly how the White House thought things would play out after the nuclear deal was signed: from where we’re sitting, anyway, this is not the path Iran would be taking in order to become a responsible status quo stakeholder in the broader Middle East.