A top Russian defense official today confirmed that a contract has existed for two years to supply the high-end S-300 surface to air defensive missile system to Iran, something which has long been rumored to be the case. Russian spokesmen would not discuss the revelation but were quick to point out that the missiles had yet to be delivered.
The S-300 is the backbone of Russia’s air defense system. Its provision to Iran has been a matter of serious concern for the Israeli government, as the defensive weapon would severely complicate the long-threatened Israeli attack on Iran. In August Israel claimed to have a secret “electronic warfare device” in development that would neutralize the system not just in Iran, but in Russia as well. Since then, however, Israel has pleaded with Russia not to provide defensive missiles to Iran, saying doing so would “help Iran wipe Israel off the face of the earth.” Israeli officials downplayed today’s revelation, however.
Iran’s state media claimed that the potential Russian delivery was “conditional,” and that whether or not the system would ever be delivered to the Iranian military depends on the “international situation.”