It isn't as if they haven't had their own little problems with Islamist fundamentalist (Afghanistan and Chechnya), so it is mystifying why the Russians would sell nuclear technology to Iran. Russia is within Iranian missile range.
Iran's nuclear plant at Bushehr, with Russian help, will soon go online. The Iranians are defending it:
Mindful of the Israeli attack that destroyed Iraq's Osirak plant 24 years ago, members of the Iranian armed forces man anti-aircraft guns set up around the Bushehr plant, which will produce 1,000 megawatts of power once it goes on line.
Anti-aircraft guns? What, are we going to send in B-17s? If we attack that plant, we'll destroy it from 15,000 feet and those anti-aircraft guns will just provide some nice secondary explosions when we hit them just because we can.
Seriously, President Bush needs to have a serious talk with President Putin. We cannot let Iran go nuclear. They cannot be trusted with this power.
And Putin needs to make sure the Iranian check clears before they provide anything. Much like the anti-aircraft missiles that Russia will sell to Syria (And really, I know the Israelis say the missiles will alter the military balance, but come on! Those new SAMs will not appreciably affect the outcome of any war that Syria might get involved in--Damascus will lose decisively), they are just going to be targets and even if the owners survive, they are unlikely to pay for smoldering holes in the ground.
UPDATE: A reader notes that the Russians are thinking of shipping SS-26 surface-to-surface missiles (190 mile range) to Syria which would be a great threat to the Israelies. Russia denies this rumor, however; and the rumors of an anti-aircraft missile sale seem to be getting more press. In either case, even if true, I stand by my assertion that SSMs or SAMs would not appreciably affect a war that Syria would be involved in. If the Syrians could get nukes, the SS-26s would have an impact, of course. But the retaliation would be far more devastating. And even chemical weapons would not be terribly effective on missiles. I doubt if the Syrians could saturate a large enough area. And the Israeli air force would be busy inlficting far more pain on the Syrians. The Turks would inflict a lot of pain in return, too. Indeed, Syria could trade weapons with either Turkey or with Israel and the outcome of a war would not be much different. The Syrians would be ill-trained in the use of poorly maintained weapons and the Turks or Israelis (even more so) would be well-trained and would use the weapons to maximum advantage. Training and military systems are more important than the hardware. Still, if the SAMs sold are hand-held, they would be quite the gift to any terrorists. That is cause to worry about that aspect.