Military-related exports to Iran currently comprise more than 85 percent of all Russian exports to the Persian Gulf states and could grow to a total of $4 billion over the coming decade, a Russian government spokeswoman said yesterday. The figures reportedly come from a memo written by Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davydov following his trip to Teheran in December 1995. That trip provided the impetus for the expected surge in trade. While Davydov was in Tehran, the two countries agreed to form joint venture petroleum companies and to boost cooperation in the oil and gas industries. They also initialed an agreement in principle for cooperation in the military, oil, energy, and other fields for a ten-year period. That agreement is to be signed at a later date by the presidents of the two countries. The key to increased trade between the two countries was the signing of a protocol during the Davydov visit which provided for Iran’s repayment of its $380 million debt to Russia. In a deal that has been aggressively opposed by the United States, Russia has also signed an $800 million contract to complete a nuclear power plant in the Iranian port city of Bushehr. (8)
Trade with Israel Also Increasing.