Russian media reported Wednesday that Moscow now is ready to go through a long-promised deal to supply the Iranian regime with advanced S-300 missiles that can shoot down ballistic missiles and commercial airplanes from a distance of up to 120 miles.
It is one of most lethal, if not the most lethal, anti-aircraft system in the world. Iran signed a purchase deal in 2007 for five S-300 missile batteries, but the sale was frozen three years ago when the U.N. Security Council slapped sanctions on Tehran..
Russia got around the embargo in its sale of the S-300 to Syria by claiming the weapons were for defense, and presumably that will be the excuse to sell them to Iran.
Just in case the international sanctions get in the way of the sale, Russia has come up with an alternative that might be just as useful for Iran and which does not fall under the sanctions. It would sell Iran the Antei-2500, AKA S-300VM, or SA-23 Gladiato, according to the Russian Kommersant Daily.
The Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force,” the Iranian government-controlled Fars News Agency stated.
Kommersant said Iran has asked it to fulfill its promise to complete the S-300 missile sale, and Russia has thrown in an extra goodie by agreeing to build a second nuclear reactor in Bushehr, just what the United States and Israel don’t need.
The Russian and Chinese appetite for money has driven it to become huge weapons suppliers to Iran and Syria, giving them the lever to counter Western influence. The missile sale to Iran will add approximately $700 million to the Kremlin coffers.
Besides the financial angel, Putin is doing his best to establish Russia as the most powerful influence in the Middle East, at the expense of President Barack Obama. Moscow and Beijing have consistently thrown up barriers to American-led efforts to place sanctions on Iran and Syria.
Iran more than welcomes Moscow in its campaign to rid the world of American influence that goes against fundamentalist Muslim regime policies, such as the deprival of human rights..
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said earlier this week that Russia should complete the 2005 deal and supply Iran with S-300 missiles and “should believe themselves and don’t follow the US so much,” Fars reported Wednesday.