Iran Will Help Syria Rebuild Air Defenses After Months of Israeli Attacks

Arms embargo expiration opens up Iran to exports

Iran’s military is reporting they’ve made a deal with the Syrian government to help rebuild their air defense systems, and have signed a new contract to begin when the Iran arms embargo expires next month.

Details of what the contract said is unclear, but the Iranians say they are ready to export some arms with the embargo’s expiration. The likely arms are Sayyad-2, as the Syrians have S-200 launchers, which are compatible with the Iranian missiles.

Syria has invested a lot in air defenses over the years, but over the past year they’ve lost a lot of capacity in some parts of the country, facing near constant Israeli attacks. The systems are mostly bought from Russia, but Iran’s compatible parts may be cheaper.

The UN overwhelmingly voted to allow the Iran arms embargo to expire, despite US demands to continue it, and despite the US threatening to enforce it anyhow. Iran is expected to buy new defensive arms from Russia and China once the expiration is complete, though it was less well discussed how much exporting Iran might do.

Though the US has threatened moves against anyone who buys from or sells to Iran, the Syrian government is likely in such a sanctioned position to begin with that US threats don’t mean much.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of