Subscribe

Russia lifts ban to deliver missiles to Iran (+video)

Back in 2010, Russia linked its decision to freeze the missiles' delivery to the sanctions the United Nations Security Council imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

  • close
    The Kremlin says Russia has lifted its ban on delivery of sophisticated air defense missiles to Iran.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

President Vladimir Putin on Monday opened the way for Russia's delivery of a sophisticated air defense missile system to Iran, a move that would significantly bolster the Islamic republic's military capability.

Russia signed the $800 million contract to sell Iran the S-300 missile system in 2007, but suspended their delivery three years later because of strong objections from the United States and Israel. Putin on Monday lifted that ban.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry over the phone Monday to discuss Iran-related issues, the situation in Syria, Yemen and other issues, the Foreign Ministry said.

Speaking in a televised statement, Lavrov said that a preliminary agreement on settling the Iranian nuclear standoff reached earlier this month made the 2010 Russian ban unnecessary.

"The S-300 is exclusively a defensive weapon, which can't serve offensive purposes and will not jeopardize the security of any country, including, of course, Israel," he said.

The deal reached by Iran and six world powers is intended to significantly restrict its ability to produce nuclear weapons while giving it relief from international sanctions. The agreement is supposed to be finalized by June 30, and there is no firm agreement yet on how or when to lift the international sanctions on Iran.

Back in 2010, Russia linked its decision to freeze the missiles' delivery to the sanctions the United Nations Security Council imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, but Lavrov argued Monday that the Russian move was voluntary and not directly required by the UN resolutions.

"It was done in the spirit of good will in order to encourage progress in talks," Lavrov said. "We are convinced that at this stage there is no longer need for such an embargo, specifically for a separate, voluntary Russian embargo."

Iran responded to the Russian ban by filing a lawsuit with a court in Geneva seeking $4 billion in damages for breach of contract, but the court has not issued a ruling.

Lavrov said that Russia had to take into account "commercial and reputational" issues linked to freezing the contract.

"Because of the suspension of the contract, Russia has failed to receive significant funds," he said. "We see no need to continue doing that."

He added that Iran badly needs modern air defense systems because of a tense situation in the region, specifically in Yemen.

Lavrov didn't say when Moscow could deliver the missiles. Russian officials previously said that the specific model of the S-300 that Russia was to deliver under the 2007 contract is no longer produced, and offered Iran a modified version of it called Antey-2500.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK