Date of Award

Fall 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Lawrence C Reardon


Since 1989, Russia has armed and assisted Iran and other anti-Western states despite improved relations with the West, non-proliferation agreements, and United Nations sanctions. Such behavior apparently contradicts Russia's commitments to arms control and international security and stability. Thus, this study seeks to clarify this contradiction by conducting a crucial case-study of Russian military assistance to Iran from 2000 through 2007. It applies interest-group theory and hypothesizes that from late-2000 to present day, interest groups successfully lobbied to increase defense-exports to Iran. It also applies interest-group theory to Stephen J. Blank's 2007 analysis of Russia's defense-export industry. Though insightful, Blank's analysis lacks a theoretical framework and a crucial case-study. Thus, in addition to determining the role of interest-group lobbying in Russia's renewed Iran policy in 2000, this study also tests Blank's argument that Putin-appointees in the military-industrial complex (MIC) have pushed for defense-exports to Iran, then extracted rents from them.