Spanish – Russia defies the United States after the re-establishment of sanctions on Iran. The Kremlin announced military cooperation with the Iranian regime when the international arms embargo expires on October 18. However, Moscow did not wait for the deadline and began joint military maneuvers with Iran, China, and other countries on Monday.
On Monday, Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council, said that Moscow would continue the technical-military cooperation with Iran despite the executive order from Washington that enables punishing foreign states that do not comply with the unilateral reestablishment of sanctions, the Interfax agency reported.
“Let them impose sanctions, one more, one less. I believe that our technical-military cooperation with Iran will continue, and I hope that these sanctions will not affect it. There are UN Security Council sanctions, compliance with which is mandatory. There are sanctions by a state, in this case, the United States, which thinks, for an unclear reason, that they are even higher than the UN Security Council sanctions.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov also told Interfax that Kremlin plans to develop military cooperation with Iran when the international arms sales embargo expires on October 18:
“New opportunities will emerge in our cooperation with Iran after the special regime imposed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 expires October 18. The amount of this cooperation and the areas in which it will develop is a separate question. Any agreements with Iran will have nothing to do with the unlawful and illegal actions of the U.S. administration, which is trying to intimidate the entire world.”
Joint military maneuvers already underway
Moscow’s defiance is already underway. On September 21, Russia began joint military maneuvers with Iran, China, Belarus, Armenia, Pakistan, and Myanmar. The military exercises will go on until this Saturday, September 26, and consist of 80,000 Russian troops and 1,000 soldiers from the other countries.
The operation called Kavkaz (Caucasus) 2020 is taking place in the Southern Military District of Russia and the Black and Caspian Seas. It involves up to 250 tanks, 450 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, and 200 artillery and missile systems. Ships of the Iranian Navy will also join the maneuvers, according to the Russian portal RG.
“The Kavkaz-2020 drills will particularly focus on combating cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as on fire and electronic warfare activities against entire enemy formations, on training airborne troops’ vertical envelopment capability and ways to rapidly shift between military activities,” the Russian statement read.
United States announced sanctions on Iran’s allies
Last Saturday, the U.S. government considered that all the international sanctions against Iran, lifted in 2015 by Barack Obama in the framework of the nuclear agreement, had been re-established. In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, arguing that Tehran had failed to meet its obligations.
A recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warns that the amount of uranium Iran possesses is ten times higher than the quota allowed by the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The United States warned that it will impose sanctions on UN member states that oppose Washington’s action: If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.