DEBKAfile’s military and Moscow sources now report exclusively: In early October 2010, Russian intelligence learned that Iran was about to begin test launches of missiles for carrying nuclear warheads. They reported this to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
He then took three steps: He conveyed the information to US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and bound them to secrecy. With their pledges in hand, he used backdoor intelligence channels to persuade Tehran to refrain from bragging about its dramatic progress and keep the tests of the nuclear-capable missiles quiet in order to avert a world outcry against the violation of all their international commitments. The Iranians bought the deal.