Putin Ends Ban on Sale of Defensive Missiles to Iran

Iran: Deal Could Enhance Regional Stability

Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a decree formally ending a multi-year ban on selling Iran certain advanced defensive missile systems, notably the S-300 long-range anti-aircraft system.

Iran and Russia had a deal on the delivery of S-300 systems which was cancelled in 2010, amid intense Western (particularly Israeli) pressure. Though Russia maintained that the S-300, as a defense system, was not effected by UN arms embargoes, they still canceled the sale at the time.

Iran has since then focused on trying to make its own variants on defense systems, though this has focused on copying medium-range systems styled after Russia’s PK37 Buk system.

Iran DM Hossein Dehghan cheered the end to the ban, saying it showed improving cooperation with Russia and could lead to improved regional stability.

Though Iran has some defensive systems at shorter range, the addition of a longer-range system like the S-300 would make an attack by a rival like Israel or Saudi Arabia much more difficult to carry out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.