Russia and Iran just showed how ‘they can do whatever they like’ right now.

It is now quite evident that to many of our historical adversaries, the United States is no longer viewed as a world power. Taking advantage of our perceived weakness of position, these powers are pushing forward their own agenda and timetable with impunity. Herein lies stark evidence of the total lack of leadership, influence, and diplomacy of the Obama administration as Russia and China set up their proxies.

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Coming soon to Tehran? S-300 missiles on parade in downtown Moscow.Iran and a US-led group of countries consisting of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany (called the P5+1) still have a ways to go before they reach a final nuclear deal.

But one P5+1 member is already acting as if the nuclear issue has been settled.

On April 13th, the Kremlin retracted its hold on the transfer of S-300 missiles to Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported. Iran and Russia had inked a contract to deliver the weapons in 2007, but the deal was shelved under international pressure and the embargo on arms transfers to Iran that the UN Security Council passed in 2010.

Russia is now announcing its intention to send one of the world’s most advanced anti-aircraft systems to Iran, notwithstanding that embargo — and against mounting evidence that the nuclear issue is actually far from resolved.

The Pentagon has already slammed the move, while Israel is already framing it as an unsavory result of apparent diplomatic progress on the nuclear front. US Secretary of State John Kerry has also raised a complaint with Moscow.

Tom Nichols, a professor at the Naval War College and an expert on Russian affairs, told Business Insider that the announcement and its timing both show just how little of an impact US policy is currently having on global affairs — and on Russia and Iran in particular.

“That deal represents a lot of money to Russia and a system Iran wants,” says Nichols. “From their perspective, why bother waiting? What price would be paid if they do it? This is what happens when other countries in the world feel they can act as if the United States doesn’t exist.”

For Nichols, the transfer of the S-300s is “yet another moment where Russia and Iran underscore the reality that they can do whatever they like, unconstrained by a disengaged United States.”

So before the world powers and Iran have even agreed on a sanctions removal timetable or limits on Iranian nuclear research and development, Russia is ready to give Iran a weapons system that experts have likened to Russia’s version of the US’s Patriot missile system. The S-300 has a range of about 93 miles, while a single battery can fire at multiple targets flying at up to almost 90,000 feet. 

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 IMAGE’S IS OWNED BY REUTERSRussia's President Putin shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Rouhani at the welcoming ceremony during a summit of Caspian Sea regional leaders in the southern city of Astrakhan

Russia and China setting up their own proxies

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