Iran inks China military pact while mulling $10 billion Russian arms deal

According to Russian and Iranian reports, Tehran is mulling a $10 billion arms deal with Moscow and has inked new deal with Beijing.

S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at a parade in Moscow (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/WWW.KREMLIN.RU)
S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at a parade in Moscow
MOSCOW - Russia and Iran are in talks over an arms deal worth around $10 billion that would see Moscow deliver T-90 tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters to Tehran, a senior Russian senator said on Monday, the RIA news agency reported.
Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense and security committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, or Federation Council, told reporters talks on the potential deal were under way during a parliamentary visit to Iran, RIA said.
In another move to bolster the Islamic Republic's military apparatus on Monday, Iran and China signed a deal to enhance cooperation between the two nations.
The military agreement between Tehran and Beijing entails increased bilateral training coordination and closer alignment on what the Iranian regime sees as regional security issues.
The move represents an “upgrade in long-term military and defense cooperation with China,” Iran's Tasnim New quoted Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan as saying in Tehran alongside his Chinese counterpart, General Chang Wanquan.
Russia and China, along with the US, Britain, France and Germany, signed the deal to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for the easing of Western sanctions after years of standoff and growing fears in the West that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
The efforts to boost the Iranian military establishment came as the world eyes US President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to scrap the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.
Trump's upset election victory cracks open pressing strategic and economic questions in US-China ties, and has likely surprised and worried Chinese leaders, who prize stability in relations between the two powers.
Meanwhile, Russia has said it is ready to work fast to repair relations with Washington now that Trump has been elected.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Monday by RIA news agency that authorities in Moscow knew little of Trump's policy plans, and recognized there was a difference between his election campaign pledges and the policies he would implement once in office.
Ryabkov said Russia's support for the Iran nuclear deal was unchanged, despite Trump's campaign statements that if elected his priority would be to dismantle the pact, Interfax news reported.