As pointed out at Winds of Change the current Iranian effort to acquire nuclear weapons is counter productive even from the point of view of Iran. I don’t really believe that “let’s nuke Israel” rhetoric. The Iranian mullahs are far to self centered to sacrifice themselves and their power to get rid of Israel. It’s far more likely designed to rally the populace to the cause1. The only real goal I can see that makes sense is forstalling a US invasion. Such weapons won’t help them overcome internal strife except via propaganda (which sadly seems to be working).
But what I wanted to wonder about here is, why is Russia being so helpful to the mullahocracy in Iran? Russia has had bloody borders with Islam for decades, if not centuries. It was a major internal security concern of the USSR and continues to be an issue for Russia. Why help a power center of the Caliphascists acquire nuclear weapons? Can it be just the cash? Or could it be that Russia views having the Middle East being turned in to a nuclear wasteland a solution instead of a problem? It’d take the heart out of radical Islam, as the Israelis would likely nuke Medina and Mecca (_I_ sure as heck would). This would solve Russia’s insurgency problem. It would also make their oil and gas a lot more valuable. Of all the nations in the world, Russia is one of the few that seems institutionally capable of long range planning and capable of acting on such plans. Are that cynical? Could they really believe that they’d be better off in that scenario? Would they? Something to think about.
 That’s not to say we shouldn’t take such a statement seriously, if for no other reason that discouraging that kind of statement for people in power in the future.