15:22 GMT +323 March 2017
    An S-300 surface-to-air missile system

    US Raises Fears of Russia-Iran S-300 Defense Deal

    © Sputnik/ Uriy Shipilov
    Middle East
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    The White House said on Tuesday that though Russia's sale of the S-300 missile system to Iran does not violate UN Security Council resolutions, it still objects to the deal, and is determining whether to respond with a domestic program of sanctions.

    Despite acknowledging that Russia's sale of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran contravenes neither UN Security Council resolutions, nor the plan of action agreed by Iran with the P5+1, White House press spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing on Tuesday that the US has objections to the deal.

    Explaining why the US objects to the sale, Kirby agreed that the system is defensive, but said "it's nonetheless a surface-to-air missile system and it’s not an insignificant military capability."

    Accusing Iran of conducting "nefarious activities and supporting terrorism around the region," Kirby added, "I don’t know why we wouldn’t object to it." 

    When it was put to the spokesman that Iran, in the context of its agreement and adherence to the nuclear deal agreed with the P5+1, has a legitimate right to equip itself with defensive weapons, Kirby replied that the US "has legitimate concerns that those kinds of systems could end up being used for other purposes or in the hands of other people."

    "The nuclear deal is separate and distinct from our concern about Iran’s nefarious activities in the region."

    Though Kirby agreed that the transfer of the defensive system to Iran is not prohibited under UN Security Council resolutions, he stated that the US "needs to know more about the specifics of this proposed transfer to determine whether any domestic US sanction programs may be implicated should a sale or transfer proceed."

    A Department of Defense official asked by Fox News to characterize the capability of the S-300 air defense system explained fears in the US that "this is a very capable weapons system that can bring down US or Israeli jet aircraft."

    On April 13 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to allow the sale of the S-300 to Iran, which overturned a previous decree signed in 2010 by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that stopped the delivery of the system. 

    That decree was passed in the aftermath of a UN Security Council resolution from June 2010 that imposed further sanctions on Iran in connection with its nuclear program.

    "Today our Iranian partners demonstrate great flexibility and desire to reach a compromise…that's why we have taken this decision," President Putin explained in April of this year. 

    Commenting on the lifting of the ban, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "We have to take into account the commercial and reputational aspect. As a result of stopping the contract, Russia did not receive a great deal of resources which are due to us."

    A S-300 missile launch.
    © Sputnik/ Mihail Mokrushin
    A S-300 missile launch.
    Russia and Iran had negotiated the sale of five of the long-range air defense systems in 2007, at a cost of around $900 million. As a result of Russia's decision not to complete the sale, Iran filed a $4 billion lawsuit in the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva. 

    On Tuesday, Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan told a press conference that a revised contract for four S-300 systems is expected to be signed by the two countries in the coming weeks, as a result of which Iran will drop the lawsuit, and soon take delivery of the S-300.


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    arms export, arms delivery, sanctions, S-300, S-300 air defense system, Iran, United States, Russia
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    • avatar
      I think Russia should deliver the S-300 to Iran. Not only, that would make them look better when compared to the Mistral deal with France, the system is a defense System and anybody objects to that is obviously planning a military strike if not war. And that this would be either an Israeli or a US Politician/Military shows that these two countries just can't just live in peace. Can anybody tell me that last US president who was not making war in some spot of the world? Definitely not the last 100 years! Is it still so, whenever a US President is inaugurated he is being told that he will not be in history books when he is not making at least one war?
    • avatar
      I truly hope Russia will deliver the S-300 to Iran as something has to be done to deter Israel and the US from permanently bullying other countries and it is really needed a deterrent in the middle east.
    • avatar
      This Kirby person needs to shut up. I really don't know why Sputnik are reporting what he says.
      The deal does not contravene the UN sanctions therefore the deal can go through.
      The objections and threats of the U.S. are nonsense and should not be elevated to any significance
    • Mikhas
      Of course the Zio-fascists object´s, because their occupation armies are only designed to rough up and beat defenceless, sanctioned and, by proxie armies, terrorized to death 3:rd world countries.

      Syria has them and can, at will, turn them on and effectively impose a NFZ over half of the Zionazi occupied Palestine
    • Mikhas
      And remember; First Obongo the hapless uncle Tom in the White House plantation, parroted his white masters and said that the deal was no biggie, which was a lie, of course and now when Russia is about to deliver they start sh_tting their pants. Iran can retaliate big time and destroy their economies in the process
    • avatar
      Why can one nation in the Middle East have it all, but complain if others want the same? If Iran has the missile defence system, then it protects them the USA and NATO air assaults. Which seem so popular in Iraq and Syria, and all nations that get in the way of the Saudi, Israel, USA, UK gas/oil pipeline plans?
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