Putin Lifts Ban on S-300 SAM Sale to Iran

Russian S-300 SAM
Russian S-300 SAM

Vladimir Putin has lifted the ban on delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.

In 2010, former president Dmitry Medvedev introduced a ban on the exportation of weapons to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Today at the Kremlin, Putin forced the lift of the ban with his signature.

“[The presidential] decree lifts the ban on transit through Russian territory, including airlift, and the export from the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also the transfer to the Islamic Republic of Iran outside the territory of the Russian Federation, both by sea and by air, of air defense missile systems S-300,” says the information note accompanying the document, RIA Novosti reported.

Originally, the 2007 deal was estimated at $800 million. Five squadrons of S-300 SAM were to be delivered to Iran. However, the United Nations (UN) imposed sanctions to Iran in 2010 and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was forced to halt the transaction.

Russian S-300VM or Antey 2500
Russian S-300VM or Antey 2500

Tehran filled a $4 billion lawsuit against Russia’s Rosoboronexport arms dealer company to a Geneva arbitration tribunal.

Last February, Russia reinitiated the talks with Iran for the exportation of the Antey-2500 anti-aircraft and ballistic missile system, which is a significant upgrade to the older S-300 SAM. Teheran confirmed it would consider the offer.

The deal with Iran would greatly help the Russian armament industry. With Western sanctions obstructing possible sales, Russia has no choice but to turn eastward for potential customers.

China, Vietnam, India and Iraq have bought billions of dollars of Russian armament. Despite the fact these sanctions are truly hurting Russia, these loyal customers bought more than USD $13,2 billions of weapons and equipment in 2014.

The deal with Iran would also open the door for possible future sales due to the newly-established Iran nuclear deal. Although the deal forbids the creation of nuclear weapons, Iran will most likely secretly develops its own nuclear arsenal.

Russia could then provide Iran with missiles capable of launching nuclear warheads.

Advanced surface-to-air systems such as the Antey 2500 could also be deployed to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Moreover, the failing relationship between NATO and Russia has given a perfect argument for Russia to reconsider his relation with Iran.

That said, no deal have been publicly acknowledged by either countries. Nevertheless, the Russian armament industry is now open for business and ready to deliver weapons to Iran.

 

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.