January 20, 2015 | Quote

Russian Defense Minister in Iran for Arms Pact Talks

Source: Iran seeking to boost sea power with cruise missiles

“Iran gets a lot of military advice and missile equipment from the Russians,” said Michael Ledeen, an Iran expert and former consultant to the National Security Council (NSC), State Department, and Defense Department.

However, “the bulk of that stuff nowadays seems to have to do with sea power, and it’s delivered across the Caspian Sea,” said Ledeen, who has been in contact with Iranian sources familiar with the latest negotiations with Russia.

Iran is seeking to fortify its military edge in the Gulf of Oman and could employ Russian-made missiles as a deterrent to the United States and other nations present there.

In meetings with Khamenei and other Iranian leaders, Russia’s Shoigu is likely to discuss arming Tehran with new submarines, torpedoes, cruise missiles, and sea-to-sea arms, according to Ledeen, a freedom scholar for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“Those are the things the Russians and Iranians will be talking about, and it’s obviously a very important meeting because [Shoigu] is scheduled to see Khamenei himself,” Ledeen said.

These talks are “very important” to both Moscow and Tehran as they seek to bolster their alliance.

“After all,” said Ledeen, “the Iranian nuclear program is basically a Russian program: Russian reactors, Russian equipment. They’re the ones who make it all possible. So Iranian military power is heavily dependent on Russia technology, Russian advisers, and Russian counsel.”

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