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Russia’s Subtle Shift on Iran

Iran’s ballistic missile tests last week have sparked unusually harsh criticism from Russia. According to the BBC, Russian officials have said the tests "raised suspicion over the true aim of [Iran’s] nuclear programme." This is remarkable coming from Moscow, and the latest sign of a potentially significant shift in Russia’s stance on Iran. Through 2007, Russia was the main obstacle in UNSC efforts to tighten the thumb screws on Iran, preferring bilateral diplomacy with Tehran over the international sanctions route.

Iran’s ballistic missile tests last week have sparked unusually harsh criticism from Russia. According to the BBC, Russian officials have said the tests "raised suspicion over the true aim of [Iran’s] nuclear programme."

This is remarkable coming from Moscow, and the latest sign of a potentially significant shift in Russia’s stance on Iran. Through 2007, Russia was the main obstacle in UNSC efforts to tighten the thumb screws on Iran, preferring bilateral diplomacy with Tehran over the international sanctions route.

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