The New Gulf Arsenal

Iran's massive weapons-buying spree makes the West wary

BY ITSELF, THE COMMISSIONING OF THE TAREQ-901 seemed little cause for alarm. But Western defense analysts fear that Iran's first Russian-built Kilo-class submarine may be only the most recent sign of an arms buildup, the likes of which has not been seen since Saddam Hussein stocked his arsenal in the days before the Gulf War. In recent months Teheran has been negotiating contracts with Russia, Ukraine and China for everything from tanks to missiles and high- performance jet fighters. Iranian dissidents and Western analysts are also concerned about help the Iranians may be getting from Chinese technicians in efforts to develop...

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