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Search Tags: Iran
Schizophrenic is how Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes Russia's relationship to Iran. In remarks before Congress he indicated Russian knows nukes in Iran would destabilized the region, but still Russia is pursuing a commercial relationship with Iran. Gates said he was told by his counterpart in Russia while he was head of the CIA in the 1990s, supporting Iran's nuclear reactor was all about the money.
Counterproliferation experts say Iranian agents' smuggling operations include parties who aren't aware they are doing anything illegal.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he's satisfied with Pentagon planning to counter the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. During a joint news conference at the Pentagon with Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak, Gates also said, "We are at a point now where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world." Those weapons are a clear threat for Israel. Barak said Israel was closely watching Hezbollah.
A nuclear arms race in the Middle East is one of the biggest concerns among western diplomats. Iran is at the center of this issue. Experts like Dr. David Kay, a former U.N. weapons inspector have said repeatedly that if Iran is successful in building a nuclear weapon, other countries in the region will feel compelled to do the same just to protect themselves. As a result, the Saudi press agency reports officials there have established a renewable energy complex, confirming the country's interest in nuclear energy.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the possibility of a U.S.-Russian partnership on missile defense have improved because Moscow is becoming more concerned about Iran. The defense secretary told senators Tuesday that U.S. offers to put radar or data exchange centers in Russia are among the options being discussed. Russian and U.S. officials are working intensively on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START I, which expires in December. Negotiators are aiming for some results by the time Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosts President Barack Obama July 6-8 in Moscow.