PRESIDENT PUTIN LIFTS BAN ON SUPPLYING IRAN WITH SOPHISTICATED S-300 AIR DEFENSE MISSILE SYSTEMS,
President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems, the Kremlin said, after Tehran struck a deal with the West over its nuclear program.
Israeli officials responded with dismay to the report, saying the supply, if it goes ahead, would change the balance of power in the region.Israeli officials said supply of the system to Iran could prevent any military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Channel 2 news reported. The TV report also cited unnamed American officials responding with concern to the news.
A decree signed by Putin removes a ban on “the shipment from Russia to Iran” of the S-300 missiles, the Kremlin said in a statement. Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell Tehran the S-300 system, but the weaponry was never delivered amid strong objections by the United States and Israel. Moscow blocked deliveries of the surface-to-air missiles to Tehran in 2010 after the United Nations slapped sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program barring hi-tech weapons sales. Iran then filed a $4 billion suit against Moscow at an arbitration court in Geneva.
Despite the dispute over the S-300 missiles, Moscow and Iran have remained on good terms, with Russia agreeing to build new nuclear reactors for Tehran and both sides supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
The S-300, developed by the Soviet Union in 1979, is a series of Russian long-range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz. The S-300 system was constructed for the Soviet Air Defense Forces in order to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles. Subsequent variations on the model were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.
Watch the Russian S-300 In Action: