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RUSSIA/IRAN - Surface-to-air diplomacy

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RUSSIA/IRAN - Surface-to-air diplomacy

Post  TBQ on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:39 pm

Submitted by "Revco"

Moscow takes a political decision to block the sale of S300 to Iran.


Without Moscow's good will, the sale of S-300 PMU-2 missiles to Tehran might have escaped the new UN resolution 1929-2010, strengthening sanctions against Iran. The document bans the export of eight categories of armaments including missiles and missile systems. However only "offensive" weapons are concerned, which rules out the "defensive" S-300.

After the UN vote, the first Russian officials questioned about the sale took this tack. Konstantin Kosachev, president of the Russian Parliament's international relations committee explained on June 10 that the deal struck with Iran in 2007 would "probably be honoured". The next day, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and, separately, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, during a brief visit to Paris, stated the opposite, saying that the S-300 were included in the banned armaments, as Western countries wished.

Putin is said to have told French President Nicolas Sarkozy that the decision was difficult to take. It was reasoned that the S-300's theoretical range of 150kms meant that the weapon could be used offensively as a surface-to-surface missile. This extended the definition of their operational capacity in a way that the UN's own list of banned weaponry had not. Deprived of S-300, Iran could turn to Chinese surface to air missiles.

Moscow's initiative is a sign of the solidarity between Moscow, Washington, London, Paris and Berlin with regard to Iran. In recent years, the Kremlin has used the sale of the S-300 to Iran to bring pressure to bear on Israel, which was Georgia’s principal supplier of arms until the conflict with Russia in 2008 (IOL n°620).

The Kremlin also stands to gain a lot from its decision to withhold the S-300 from Iran. Saudi Arabia has been negotiating some major contracts for helicopters and tanks with Russia for several years, as well as for S-400 missiles, the successor to the S-300. The Russian Army only has four batteries of S-400 and is expected to deploy three more this year. The system is not yet available for export but is expected to be by 2015. If Saudi Arabia buys it, it would be the first foreign customer of the advanced missile systems.


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Re: RUSSIA/IRAN - Surface-to-air diplomacy

Post  Guest on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:59 pm

Whatever is happening Russia certainly seems submissive to the US led interests, Clinton had to travel to Caucasus to calm their neighbours from the upset of the warmer russian/us relations.

The talk of war on Iran has been on the radar for quite some time – maybe the rising public recognition of the old “false flag” operations has put a rubber on their plans? In any case Zbig´s tactic would be to polarize Iran and Russia as with Afghanistan.

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