Iran Claims S-300 Air Defense Acquired From Belarus

Russia Reneged on 2007 Promise to Sell System to Iran

Officials quoted in Iran’s Fars News Agency say that the Iranian government has obtained four batteries of S-300 air defense missiles, the backbone of Russia’s air defense, despite Russia’s refusal to deliver them.

Russia had signed a promise to sell the missiles to Iran in 2007, but delayed the delivery for years before declaring in June that the S-300 sale was banned under the most recent UN Security Council sanctions.

With Russian delivery apparently no longer an option, Iran is said to have obtained the systems from Belarus and another as yet unidentified source.

The S-300 systems are entirely defensive, providing the ability to shoot down attacking aircraft and missiles. Israel and the United States had opposed the delivery primarily on the grounds that it would make threats to attack Iran less credible and the actual attacks far more difficult.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of