Iran Suing Russia Over Refusal to Sell Defensive Missiles

Russia Signed Contract to Deliver S-300 Missiles in 2007

The Iranian government has announced today that it is filing a lawsuit in the International Court against Russia over the failure of the Russian government to follow through with its 2007 contract to sell the S-300 defensive surface to air missile batteries to Iran.

The contract had been loudly opposed, particularly by Israeli officials, who claimed that if Iran had a viable air defense it would allow the nation to “destroy Israel.” In reality they simply make Israel’s oft-threatened attack against Iran much less convenient.

Russia had repeatedly delayed the delivery, but last summer announced that they were halting the sale under the belief that UN sanctions banned them from following through with the contract.

Iranian officials deny this, saying that the UN Security Council resolution does not ban defensive equipment sales, but only offensive weapon sales. They say the lawsuit is primarily aimed at getting an international court ruling to vindicate this position.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of