Iran is already seeing the benefits of coming to a tentative agreement with world powers over its nuclear programme – the Kremlin has just lifted a ban on providing it with S-300 missiles.
Russia originally signed a multi-million dollar contract with Tehran to deliver the weapons in 2007, but the US and Israel voiced concerned that the country might use the missiles to protect its nuclear facilities.
While Iran has always insisted its nuclear enrichment programme is entirely for civilian purposes, it has faced pressure from other countries to lower the extent of its enrichment, since current levels could allow it to develop a nuclear weapon. In 2010, this culminated in the UN imposing economic sanctions on Iran until it brought enrichment down to a more obviously peaceful level.
The rules included prohibition of the sale of advanced weapons, and so Russia had no choice but to put its lucrative deal on hold.
But following talks between six major world powers and Iran over its nuclear activities, compromises have been made – Iran has agreed to curb some of its enrichment in return for the lifting of some sanctions. The deadline for a full and final agreement is 30 June.
A decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin was posted on the Kremlin's website this afternoon, formally removing the ban. The defence ministry said it was ready to supply the S-300 equipment “promptly”.