The Russians don’t support an Iranian indigenous nuclear capability. Their calculus is that their companies’ profit margins will benefit as long as the Iranians keep Russian scientists and engineers in country, who can oversee Iranian nuclear progress. Using its unique insights, Russia then plays a Byzantine game of delay and diplomacy. Delaying a program on technical grounds can’t go on indefinitely. At the same time, their involvement in the nuclear program is leverage in Russo-American negotiations.
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