Russia is taking advantage of Obama’s insistence on leading from behind by challenging NATO and American military planes with their fighter planes. To add insult to injury, Russia has also lifted a ban on selling missiles to IRAN, even as the negotiations continue on the nuke deal with President Rainbow Brite.
Russia paved the way on Monday for missile system deliveries to Iran and started an oil-for-goods swap, signaling that Moscow may have a head-start in the race to benefit from an eventual lifting of sanctions on Tehran.
The moves come after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran this month on curbing its nuclear program.
The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ending a self-imposed ban on delivering the S-300 anti-missile rocket system to Iran, removing a major irritant between the two after Moscow canceled a corresponding contract in 2010 under pressure from the West.
A senior government official said separately that Russia has started supplying grain, equipment and construction materials to Iran in exchange for crude oil under a barter deal.
Sources told Reuters more than a year ago that a deal worth up to $20 billion was being discussed and would involve Russia buying up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day.
Here is the White House responding to the sale of Russian missile systems to Iran:
Earnest says Russia “understands” how concerned we are. Wow. Great, thanks. Awesome.
Er, so… Iran might get nukes from Obama, and then get missile delivery systems from Russia. I don’t see a problem here.