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Friday, October 01, 2010

Russian S-300 sale to Iran back on?

Last week, the Russians announced a 'final' decision not to sell the S-300 anti-missile defense system to Iran, and the Obama administration promptly took credit for its 're-set' with the Russians having stopped the sale. It looks like the Obami spoke too soon.
The problem is, this “bold” decision is not a final decision. Nothing in Medvedev’s announcement cancels the 2007 contract and, as Rogin notes, the ban could be lifted at any time. Days later, Russian deputy foreign minister Ryabkov made clear that Russia’s military cooperation with Iran would continue, saying, "We will not able to develop military-technical cooperation with Iran in these categories [of weapons], but there are other directions.” As Max Boot wrote at Contentions, “In other words, the Russians are up to their old tricks — paying lip service to stopping the Iranian nuclear program while sabotaging efforts to really get tough with Tehran.”

The Bush administration and the Israelis have pressured Moscow for years not to fulfill the S-300 contract, so this is not the first time Russia has pocketed concessions only to come back begging for more. We should be pleased that S-300s will not be on their way to Iran any time soon, but should be wary of the price an administration desperate to claim results from a “reset” in relations with the Kremlin might be willing to pay.


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Frankly, from my personal point of view, when one's own government is a part of the enemy, what Russia, does or does not do is irrelevant.

When the Germans continue to trade with Iran, Nokia/Siemens, as do Shell petroleum and no doubt the British government too,it is hard to condemn them. The main problem with Russia is that islamists are making inroads there too.

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope we all don't wake up one day to the headline "russia has secretly delivered the s300 system to iran and is already up and running and manned by russian technical advisers." I don't know what Israel is waiting for, they should have already attacked iran in my opinion.


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