Russian Roulette: What Moscow Wants From Tehran
by Ilan Berman
For years, the relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation has served as a source of confusion and frustration to Western policymakers. By objective measure, the partnership developed between Moscow and Tehran over the past two decades is deeply counterintuitive. Given the geographic proximity of the two countries, Iran's burgeoning strategic capabilities pose a direct threat to Russia; already in 2003, some 20 million Russians were estimated to be within range of Iran's ballistic missiles, and that number has grown along with the sophistication of Iran's arsenal. Iran's history of regional troublemaking in places such as Lebanon and Tajikistan, meanwhile, makes it an untrustworthy neighbor for Russia, which is acutely aware of the destabilizing potential of rising Islamic extremism in its Near Abroad and within its own borders.
Yet Russia's relationship with Iran has done more than simply survive over the past decade. Despite growing international concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the partnership has flourished, fueled by a range of convergent interests. For the United States and its European allies, understanding these bonds is essential to determining whether they can be severed—and whether the Kremlin can in fact serve as a constructive partner in preventing the emergence of a nuclear Iran.
A Faustian bargain
The contemporary Russo-Iranian entente traces its roots back to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Serious bilateral diplomatic contacts had begun during the mid- to late 1980s, but ties between Moscow and Tehran truly blossomed upon the USSR's demise. The break-up of the Soviet Union unleashed a wave of ethnic and religious separatism in Russia's turbulent "southern rim": Central Asia and the Caucasus. Kremlin officials watched this development with deep apprehension, afraid that the emerging extremism on their southern border could spill over into parts of the Russian Federation. Having seen Iran's domination of Lebanon in the early 1980s, and its global efforts to "export the revolution" thereafter, they also became justifiably worried about Tehran taking on a similar role on their periphery, and so sought to draw Iran's ayatollahs closer.
Russia also saw practical reasons for partnership. Russia's defense industry had not weathered the post-Soviet transition well, and Iran promised to be a significant source of income for the battered Russian armaments sector. One leading expert would later admit that Russia "should be grateful to Iran for having provided tens of thousands of Russian companies with 70 percent of their work."
The resulting arrangement struck between Moscow and Tehran included a pledge of Russian sales of conventional arms (and later the sharing of nuclear know-how) to Iran in exchange for a tacit understanding that Tehran would steer clear of meddling in the Near Abroad. Iran was eager to comply; still struggling to reconstitute its regional standing and military might in the aftermath of its costly eight-year war with Iraq, the Iranian regime rightly saw Russia as a major potential arms supplier.
The Russo-Iranian entente may have begun as a marriage of convenience, but by the late 1990s it had become much more. In January 1996, President Boris Yeltsin replaced his Western-leaning foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, with Yevgeny Primakov, the wily spymaster who headed Russia's foreign intelligence agency, the Sluzhba Vneshnei Rozvedki (SVR). The reshuffle marked the start of a new era in Russia's Middle East policy. In his day, Primakov had served as the chief Middle East specialist for the government of Leonid Brezhnev, and as the Kremlin's de facto point man on ties with Iraq, Libya, and the PLO.
Primakov wasted no time repositioning Moscow as a geopolitical counterweight to Washington in the Middle East, and Russian attitudes toward Tehran underwent a corresponding change. Under Kozyrev, Russia had aligned itself with the U.S. in opposing Iran. This was not without good reason; at least some policymakers in Moscow saw Iran's potential to export fundamentalism to Russia's periphery as the cardinal threat facing the Kremlin in the post-Cold War era. Under Primakov, however, these worries gave way to a more benign view of the Islamic Republic. Ties with Tehran had come to be seen in Moscow as a pivotal geopolitical alliance—and as an important hedge against America's perceived hegemony in the Middle East.
The strategic partnership nurtured under Primakov took on a new dimension in the last days of 1999, with Vladimir Putin's assumption of the Russian presidency. Far from breaking with his predecessor's embrace of the ayatollahs, Putin actually strengthened the Kremlin's tilt toward Tehran. In November 2000, in a public show of support for the Iranian regime, Russia officially abrogated the 1995 Gore-Chernomyrdin Agreement, under which Moscow had agreed to curtail new nuclear-related exports to the Islamic Republic. The importance of ties with the Islamic Republic also became a feature of the foreign policy blueprint issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry that same year.
September 11, 2001 and the ensuing War on Terror did nothing to dampen the Russo-Iranian entente. To the contrary, the years following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington saw strategic cooperation between Russia and Iran accelerate on a number of fronts.
The most immediate was in Central Asia. Initially, Washington's plans for a campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan had met with the blessing of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Over time, however, the steady expansion of America's strategic presence in the "post-Soviet space" has fanned Russian fears of a long-term U.S. foothold in the region—and a corresponding diminution of Moscow's influence there. Iran's ayatollahs had similar worries; the 2002 ouster of the Taliban, and the subsequent overthrow of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime, may have eliminated Tehran's chief ideological and military adversaries. But in their wake, Iranian policymakers grappled with how to deal with the new, pro-Western governments in Baghdad and Kabul, and with the possibility that further Coalition successes could profoundly constrain their country's foreign policy horizons. These common concerns led Moscow and Tehran to begin discussions of a common political and security agenda for Central Asia and the Caucasus—one designed, among other things, to forestall the creation of a U.S.-backed government in Kabul. The two countries have since made substantial progress toward this goal, animated by mutual fears over the growing American strategic presence in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Nuclear cooperation likewise continued, with Russian officials taking pains to support Iran's atomic effort in the face of mounting international concerns. Thus, in October 2004, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov paid a high-profile visit to Tehran, where he met with his counterpart at the time, Kamal Kharrazi, and with Hassan Rowhani, then the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. The meetings yielded mutual affirmations of the strong strategic bonds between Russia and Iran, and an important symbolic message from the Kremlin—support of Iran's inalienable right to nuclear technology. Other Russian dignitaries also visited Tehran to confirm their country's commitment to ongoing atomic cooperation—and to a coordinated approach between the Kremlin and the Islamic Republic to "peace and security" in the Middle East.
How Moscow sees Iran
Fast forward more than half a decade, and little has changed. In the wake of the Coalition military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facing the prospect of a retraction of U.S. power from the greater Middle East, Russian leaders have come to view Iran as a rising "regional superpower." They have therefore thrown their weight behind cooperation with the Islamic Republic.
Consistent with this view, the Kremlin continues to shield the Islamic Republic from the international repercussions of its atomic effort. In doing so, Russian policymakers have hidden behind Iran's official claims that its nuclear program is peaceful in nature. Thus Alexander Saltanov, Russia's deputy Foreign Minister, declared in December 2009 that "Russia has no concrete information that Iran is planning to construct a weapon."
Russian opinion toward Iran is not monolithic, however. In fact, a strong minority view on Iran has existed within Russian politics for some time. This perspective—shared across a broad spectrum of Russian institutions and political affiliations—emphasizes the political dangers of close partnership with Iran and the real threat that the Islamic Republic could someday soon pose to Russia itself.
Thus, Andrei Kokoshin, the influential chairman of the Russian State Duma's Defense Committee (and a former Russian National Security Advisor), has spoken out publicly about the Iranian threat to Russia's security. So has Alexei Arbatov, the leader of Russia's liberal "Yabloko" political faction. Even Yevgeny Velikhov, the Secretary of Russia's Public Chamber, has taken up this call. "If [Iran] decided to create nuclear weapons, then they could create them," Velikhov—a close confidante of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin—has warned publicly. "It is important that Iran does not get nuclear weapons. If Iran gets nuclear weapons it will be very negative for the security of the whole world."
Nor are Russian worries limited to Iran's nuclear potential. The Islamic Republic "contains a direct threat to Russia's national interests, including in the Caucasus and Central Asia," according to Moscow Institute of International Relations Professor Adnan Egayev. "The export of Islamic extremism to Dagestan and Chechnya comes from Iran. That country could present a serious threat to Azerbaijan. There are quite a few figures in Iran who want to see Azerbaijan as part of Iran." Indeed, according to Egayev, "If Iranian influence penetrates Azerbaijan's territory and an Islamic regime is established there, we will get a real threat to Russia's security."
For the moment, however, this minority view remains just that. Despite repeated warnings, the dominant approach adopted by the Kremlin is that of Iran as an ally, and the expansion of strategic cooperation with it as an asset to Russian foreign policy.
The Kremlin's calculus
Just how durable is this relationship? The past decade has been replete with encouraging signs that the Kremlin might soon rethink its bonds to the Islamic Republic.
Despite its historical role as a key enabler of Iran's nuclear ambitions, Russia cannot be said to be completely sanguine about Iran's relentless march toward nuclear status. As long ago as August 2005, Russia's Foreign Ministry was already criticizing its long-time strategic partner for its intransigence on the nuclear issue. "It would be a wise decision on the part of Iran to stop enriching uranium and renew cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," it urged in an official communiqué. Since then, even as it has publicly backed Iran's nuclear effort, the Kremlin has repeatedly appealed to the Iranian regime to abide by international obligations.
Moscow's concerns have taken concrete form. Nuclear ties between Russia and Iran date back to mid-1995, when the two countries set in motion a plan to build a nuclear reactor in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr. Fifteen years later, the Bushehr plant remains offline, ostensibly for technical and financial reasons. While Russian officials have repeatedly reiterated their commitment to bringing Bushehr to fruition—and to building additional nuclear plants for the Iranian regime in the future—its current disposition speaks volumes about the Russian government's worries over Iran's nuclear potential.
Such perceived fissures have fanned hopes in the West of a more constructive Russian role in containing the Islamic Republic. Since taking office, the Obama administration has sought to widen this rift. Iran has emerged as a key element of the "reset" in relations now underway between Washington and Moscow, and President Obama reportedly has even offered up a large portion of its predecessor's missile defense plans as a quid pro quo of sorts for Russia's cooperation.
Yet Moscow has reciprocated only minimally to these overtures. Indeed, as of this writing, and despite increasingly vocal Russian concerns over Iran's nuclear advances, the Kremlin remains opposed to the application of comprehensive sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The reasons for this reticence are both economic and security-related.
First, Iran's nuclear ambitions are of great commercial benefit to Russia. In the years after September 11th, Russia's vast energy sector—and the high world price of oil—helped fuel the country's revival. Since the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008, however, Russia's economic fortunes have experienced a devastating reversal of fortune. Last year, Russian GDP is estimated to have plummeted by 13.5 percent, driven downward by a 77 percent decline in world energy prices. Perpetuating the current crisis over Iran's nuclear program has therefore become of keen commercial interest to the Kremlin. As one energy expert outlined recently in the Moscow Times:
"Assuming the Iranian situation influences the oil price upward by a conservative estimate of roughly $3 or $4 a year, Russia stands to gain $6 billion to $8 billion, not to mention any benefits to the price of natural gas and the maintenance of its gas supply monopoly to Europe. A thaw between Iran and the West stands to increase the downward pressure on the price of oil, in addition to any lost revenue if Iran becomes a significant gas supplier to Europe. Given this calculation, Russia's position regarding sanctions seems much more logical."
Russia's nuclear trade has benefited considerably from the current crisis as well. The years since Iran's nuclear program broke into the open have seen an explosion of interest in the atom in the greater Middle East. Today, no fewer than fourteen countries in the Middle East and North Africa have openly begun to pursue some level of nuclear capability. And Russia, the world's leading exporter of nuclear technology, has capitalized on this trend. Over the past five years, Moscow has inked nuclear cooperation deals with a number of these nations, including Algeria, Egypt and Jordan. Even Libya, which ostensibly gave up its atomic ambitions during the Bush administration, now appears to be resuming its investment in nuclear technology—and doing so with the assistance of Russian industry.
Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the deepening international stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions, however, has been Russia's arms sector. Two decades ago, the breakup of the Soviet Union left Russia's defense industry on the verge of collapse. Today, Russia's arms trade with the world is vast—and growing rapidly. This turnaround is attributable in large part to deepening international concerns over Iran's nuclear program, which has led to an upsurge in investments in arms and defenses in the already-volatile Middle East. According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, arms sales to the region rose by nearly 40 percent between 2004 and 2008, with Iran's neighbors among the most active clients. Hoping to take advantage of this interest, Russia's arms industry is now said to be in the throes of a major expansion in the Middle East. Iran's nuclear program, in other words, has proven to be very good for Russian business.
Moscow's preference for the status quo has only been reinforced by its views of political transformation within Iran. For officials in Moscow, the possibility of a change of regime—or even of governmental behavior—constitutes a significant challenge on a number of levels. Most immediately, experts have publicly worried that a revolutionary "upheaval" of one kind or another within the Islamic Republic would lead to a fragmentation of the country—something which "would inevitably aggravate the situation in Russia's southern border territories." In this view, Iran's complex ethnic composition, together with its close links to co-religionists in Central Asia, would serve to destabilize areas of the "post-Soviet Space" should the Islamic Republic totter, adversely affecting Russian security interests there.
These fears also have a domestic component. Russia itself is currently in the throes of a massive demographic upheaval, one driven by a catastrophic decline in the fertility of its Slavic population. Russia's Muslim population, by contrast, is trending in the opposite direction: by the end of the next decade, Russia's Muslims—currently numbering between 15 and 20 million—could make up a fifth or more of the country's total population. This cohort, moreover, is increasingly alienated and politically disaffected, making it vulnerable to exploitation by outside forces. The Kremlin understands this very well, which is why it has become more sensitive than ever about the need to prevent external influences upon its Muslim minority. And Iran, with its history of meddling in regional conflicts in the greater Middle East, represents a real danger in this regard—one that Moscow has sought to dilute through closer ties.
Then there are the economic implications of such a potential change. Russian officials remember well their recent experience in Iraq, in which their longstanding collusion with the regime of Saddam Hussein led to their ouster from lucrative contracts following the end of Ba'athist rule. It took the Kremlin years to reestablish a commercial foothold in the country, and while commercial dealings with Baghdad have more or less stabilized since, officials in Moscow are in no hurry to repeat the experience in Iran. That possibility, meanwhile, has become a real one in recent months. The popular unrest that has swept Iran since the country's fraudulent June 12th presidential election has showcased widespread chants of "Death to Russia," making it clear that in the eyes of Iran's opposition, Moscow's steadfast partnership with the current clerical regime has made it a mortal enemy. All of which has bred a vested Russian interest in preserving Iran's integrity, and supporting Iran's ayatollahs against their democratic opposition.
Finally, Iran is important in the context of Russia's most immediate geopolitical priority: continued hegemony over its Near Abroad. In recent years, officials in Moscow have watched the encroachment of the United States and its NATO partners into the "post Soviet space" with growing alarm. While Moscow initially supported Coalition operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan, many there have come to believe that the War on Terror could serve as a vehicle for the West to diminish Russian hegemony in its former holdings. Such fears have only been fanned by NATO's formal declaration, at its June 2004 Istanbul summit, that it plans to expand its activism and involvement in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and by the so-called "color revolutions" that have taken place throughout the post-Soviet space in recent years.
Iran offers a way out. A West preoccupied with containing and managing a crisis in the Middle East, the thinking goes, is far less likely to meddle in Russia's traditional sphere of influence. It likewise will be unable to field a serious challenge to Russian efforts to reassert its dominance over parts of the former Soviet Union, either politically (as in the case of Ukraine) or militarily (such as in Georgia). This, in turn, has served to reinforce Russian convictions about the prudence of cooperation with the Islamic Republic.
The Russian tightrope
Still, it is clear that at least some in Russia have reservations about the ultimate outcome of their country's ties to Iran. This is not due to perceptions of Iran's irrationality per se; while many in Israel and the United States have expressed worries about the inherent volatility of Iran's radical theocratic regime, Russians tend to view it as a more rational and predictable actor. Rather, it stems from the possible effects that a rising (and potentially nuclear) Iran could have in Russia's geopolitical backyard and within Russia itself.
As a result, Moscow's strategy for dealing with the current crisis over Iran's nuclear program has been to seek to preserve the strategic status quo in a way that maximizes economic benefit to Russia while preventing foreign action.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the Kremlin's handling of Iran's efforts to acquire advanced air defenses. Initial contacts between the two countries over the acquisition of units of Russia's S-300 air defense system reportedly date back as far as 2005. However, a formal deal to procure them was not signed until 2007 or later, and the number of batteries purchased by the Iranian regime is unclear. What is obvious, however, is that some sort of deal has in fact been concluded—and that, at least so far, it remains unfulfilled.
The matter is not trivial. Given the sophistication of the S-300, its deployment by the Islamic Republic would dramatically increase the difficulty of targeting and successfully neutralizing Iranian nuclear facilities. As a result, Israeli officials have made clear that they view the delivery and installation of the Russian systems as a "red line" that would potentially precipitate the use of force. And they have lobbied the Kremlin heavily to refrain from delivering the anti-missile systems to the Iranians. So far, Moscow appears to have been willing to do so, correctly seeing the provision of the S-300 as a spark that could ignite a regional conflagration.
The S-300 issue provides a microcosm of Russian's approach to Iran. On the one hand, the Kremlin continues to derive great benefit to its ties to Iran, seeing it as "a partner and de facto ally in its plans to reshape the power balance in the Middle East to America's detriment, dilute U.S. influence in the region, sell weapons and nuclear technology to both sides, and boost oil prices, thereby greatly improving Moscow's balance sheet." Yet Moscow cannot allow Iran's clerical regime to gain too much strength, for fear of the destabilizing effects that such a development would have on Russia's immediate sphere of influence if it does—and of the direct consequences to Russia of the resulting military confrontation if it does not. In this high stakes game, only time will tell if Moscow can continue to walk the tightrope.
1) See, for example, Vasily Lata and Anton Khlopkov, "Iran: Raketno-Yadernaya Zagadka dlya Rossii [Iran: a Missile and Nuclear Enigma for Russia]," Yadderny Kontrol no. 2 (summer 2003), 39–56.
2) Portions of this chapter are drawn from two previous published works of the author: Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005) and "Tackling The Moscow-Tehran Connection," The Journal of International Security Affairs no. 10, Spring 2006.
3) As cited in Mark Katz, "Russia and Iran: Who is Strong-Arming Whom?" Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline 8, no. 131 (2004).
4) Ariel Cohen, "The Primakov Doctrine: Russia's Zero-Sum Game With the United States," Heritage Foundation FYI no. 167, December 15, 1997.
5) John P. Hannah, "Evolving Russian Attitudes Toward Iran," in Patrick Clawson, ed., Iran's Strategic Capabilities and Intentions (Washington: National Defense University, April 1994), 56.
6) Ivan Matveychuk, "Moscow-Teheran: Concurrence of Interests: The Iranian Factor and Russo-American Relations," Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kuryer (Moscow), February 25, 2004.
7) Sergei Sokut, "Rossiyskiy Otvet Amerike [Russia's Answer to America]," Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (Moscow), October 5, 2001, http://nvo.ng.ru/wars/2001-10-05/1_answer.html.
8) "Russian, Iranian Foreign Ministers Reaffirm Regional Partnership on Terror," RIA-Novosti (Moscow), October 10, 2004; Vadim Lagutin, "Russian FM Holding Talks in Iran, Discusses Caspian, Nuclear Cooperation," Itar-TASS (Moscow), October 11, 2004; "Rowhani, Lavrov Stress Iran's Right to Use Peaceful Nuclear Technology," IRNA (Tehran), October 11, 2004.
9) "Russia Reaffirms Continued Nuclear Cooperation With Iran," IRNA (Tehran), December 27, 2004; "Iranian President Calls Opinion Exchange Between Russia and Iran on Nuclear Energy Issues Positive," RIA-Novosti (Moscow), December 13, 2004.
10) Ariel Cohen, "Russia's Iran Policy: A Curveball For Obama," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder no. 2359, January 15, 2010, http://www.heritage.org/Research/Iran/bg2359.cfm.
11) "Russia: No Proof Of Military N-Plans In Iran," Press TV (Tehran), December 26, 2009, http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=114674§ionid=351020103.
12) See, for example, Kokoshin's comments on Ekho Moskvy radio (Moscow), June 3, 2003.
13) See, for example, Alexei Arbatov and Andrei Piontkovski, "What Does Ahmadinejad Have In Common With Gavrilo Princip: Solving The Iranian Puzzle," PIR Center Security Index 13, no. 1, n.d., http://pircenter.org/data/ib/Arbatoveng.pdf.
14) "Russian Expert Says Iran Can Make Nuclear Weapons," Reuters, April 2, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL0241192520070402.
15) "Expert Sees Threat To Russia From Nuclear Iran," Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Moscow), August 11, 2005.
16) Yossi Melman, "Russia Joins Int'l Community, Calls on Iran to Cease Enriching Uranium," Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), August 9, 2005.
17) Brenda Shaffer, Partners in Need: The Strategic Relationship of Russia and Iran (Washington: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001), 11–12, 71.
18) "Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant 'To Open In 2010,'" BBC, January 21, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8472771.stm.
19) Peter Baker, "Obama Offered Deal To Russia In Secret Letter," New York Times, March 2, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/washington/03prexy.html.
20) "Russia Against Crippling Iran Sanctions," People's Daily (Beijing), February 20, 2010, http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90853/6896588.html.
21) Alex Nicholson, "Oil Drags Russian Economy Into Record Slump," Business Day (Johannesburg), February 2, 2010, http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=92599.
22) Mac Broderick, "Windfall From Iranian Fray," Moscow Times, November 16, 2009, http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/windfall-from-iranian-fray/389482.html.
23) These countries are: Iran itself; the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates); Yemen; Egypt; Tunisia; Algeria; Morocco; Jordan; and Turkey. See Nuclear Programmes In The Middle East: In The Shadow Of Iran (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2008).
24) "Algeria Trades Gas For Russian Nuclear Energy," World Tribune, January 24, 2007, http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/07/front2454125.1611111113.html.
25) "Russia-Egypt Nuclear Deal Signed," BBC, March 25, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7313037.stm.
26) "Jordan Negotiations Construction Of Nuclear Plant," Yediot Ahronot (Tel Aviv), February 10, 2010, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3847013,00.html.
27) "Libya In Talks With Russia For Arms, Nuclear Deal," Middle East Online, July 31, 2008, http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=27198.
28) "Report: Arms Sales To Middle East Up 38 Percent," Voice of America, April 27, 2009, http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/a-13-2009-04-27-voa26-68814102.html.
29) "Russia Seeks Mideast Arms Sales Boost," UPI, September 15, 2009, http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2009/09/15/Russia-seeks-Mideast-arms-sales-boost/UPI-89011253044464/.
30) Institute of International Relations professor Nina Mamedova, as cited in Jonathan Eyal, "Moscow Rethinks Friendship With Iran," Straits Times (Singapore), December 10, 2009, URL.
31) U.S. Census Bureau. International Data Base, August 2006 version. "IDB Summary Demographic Data for Russia." Midyear Population Estimates and Average Annual Period Growth Rates: 1950 to 2050. http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbsum.pl?cty=RS
32) Michael Mainville, "Muslim Birthrate Worries Russia," Washington Times, November 21, 2006, http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=23468&sec=33&con=42.
33) See, for example, Yadollah Eslami, "Decoding The Green Movement's Slogans," Gozaar, October 21, 2009, http://gozaardem.org/template1.php?id=1366&language=english.
34) See, for example, Yuri Baluyevsky, "Cooperation Is Only Path: West Must Finally Bury Cold War Mindset," Defense News, June 14, 2004.
35) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "Istanbul Summit Communiqué," Istanbul, June 28, 2004, http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2004/p04-096e.htm.
36) Mark Landler and Clifford J. Levy, "Russia Resists U.S. Position on Sanctions for Iran," New York Times, October 14, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/world/europe/14diplo.html.
37) Christian Caryl, "The Other Ticking Clock In Iran," Foreign Policy, October 2, 2009, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/10/02/the_other_ticking_clock_in_iran.
38) See, for example, "'Iran Dolzhen Znate, Chto Zaplatit Doroguyu Tsenu' ['Iran Needs To Know That It Will Pay A Dear Price']" Kommersant (Moscow) no. 172, September 17, 2009, http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?fromsearch=fcfe63d2-c3e2-488f-9a5e-96910ab425bf&docsid=1238501.
39) Cohen, "Russia's Iran Policy: A Curveball For Obama."