The delivery of a sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missile system to Iran is underway, according to the Iranian defense ministry.
Iran’s Defense Ministry issued a statement Monday claiming that the delivery of Russian S-300 missile systems is underway. The statement is in response to media reports claiming that delivery of the missiles, which were first contracted for in 2007, is facing a number of delays.
“The recent remarks on the S-300 missile defense system delivery lack accuracy and credibility, and the executive stages for the delivery of the system are now being taken based on the previously-signed contract,” the statement read, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Iranian media also noted a September statement by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, saying, “The negotiations are continuing. The contract will be signed in the near future. All political decisions have been made; there are no obstacles there.”
Russia announced in April that it would resume the sale of five S-300 systems to Iran following the conclusion of a framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. The sale was suspended in 2010 due to UN sanctions imposing an arms embargo on Iran. Iran had filed a $4 billion lawsuit in a Geneva arbitration court, claiming that the embargo did not include defensive weapons and that Russia was, therefore, in breach of contract.
Israel strongly objected to Russia’s decision to go ahead with delivering the S-300s. The S-300 is one of the world’s most sophisticated anti-aircraft systems, and would complicate any efforts by Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event Iran decides to go nuclear. There are also concerns about what Iran’s terror proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, could do with access to the system.
By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel
Sign the Petition to Stop a Nuclear Iran
The US Congress must ensure that sanctions against Iran remain in force until the nuclear threat is completely eliminated.