One of Russia's best known news outlets, RT, announced this week that Moscow in on the verge of finalizing a $10 billion arms sale to Iran. On the same day as RT published this report, Tehran announced a new, signed military alliance with Beijing.
"Negotiations are being carried out, the road has been paved," bragged the head of the Defense and Security Committee of Russia's upper house of Parliament, Viktor Ozerov. Ozerov made the statement from Tehran o Monday, 14 November. What's more, he added, "the order book, discussed today, [reflects] the needs of Tehran and amounts to some $10 billion."
The sale includes combat helicopters, artillery systems, armored vehicles and aircraft. Until 2020, the sale of these items must be approved by the United Nations Security Council.
Anticipating that the United States and other members of the UNSC are likely to object, Ozerov indicated that Moscow and Iran will continue its plans and, if necessary, execute the sale after October 2020 "when the legal [limitations] will be removed.
In context, Moscow's plan to further arm Iran comes on the heals of a completed delivery to the Islamic Republic of Russia's sophisticated S-300 missile defense system. It is a sale that was forbidden while Iran was subject to international sanctions for its nuclear program. Those sanctions were lifted in January of this year. Citing the ultimate success of the sale, Ozerov indicated it was a template for his country's new $10 billion deal.
"S-300 deliveries to Iran had [previously] been delayed because of the sanctions," he said, "[but] they are now completed, and by the end of this year all the equipment that we delivered will be put on combat duty."
On the same day Ozerov announced an all but done deal with the mullahs of Iran, Tehran announced a new signed military alliance with China. The story was reported by Iranian news agency, Tasnim News.
The agreement entails closer defense-military cooperation between Tehran and Beijing, sharing military experience, particularly in the field of training, as well as combatting terrorism and causes of regional insecurity.
...In their talks, [Iran Defense Minister] Brigadier General Dehqan described an “upgrade in long-term military and defense cooperation with China” as a top priority in Iran’s defense diplomacy agenda.
For Russia and China, the basis for strengthening their alliance with Iran is directly related to economics. Russia wants to sell technology, China needs oil and Iran seeks an empire that stretches to the Mediterranean.
If Iran succeeds, all three nations see huge and unfetter market in which to sell its various goods and services. An Iranian empire could facilitate a boom in trade throughout the Middle East. Apparently, its potential is so vast, even Russia and China agree, there is room enough for both superpowers. And in this new empire, today's global alignment will flip: the West, especially NATO, will need, and want, to trade in East; and as such, will be subject to the new world order of Moscow-Tehran-Beijing.
What does it mean today, especially for Jerusalem? Two things.
Russian President Vladimir Putin likes to imply that his country's military incursion into Syria is only to defeat Islamic State. In all likelihood, that implication is a clever lie. Russia is here to stay.
As for Iran, its current fight against terrorism is focused on Daesh, or ISIS. But the Islamic Republic has repeatedly expressed its view that Israel is a terrorist state that must be destroyed.
Accordingly, when ISIS is gone, Tehran's focus will shift from Damascus to Jerusalem. When it does, declaring war against "Zionist terrorism," Russia and China are likely to be brought into a bloody fray that, by comparison, makes Syria look tame.