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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: April 13, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia Lifts Ban to Sell S-300 Advanced Anti-Aircraft Weapons to Iran
7 years
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree which lifts the ban on the sale of the S-300 advanced anti-aircraft system to Iran. The Russian state propaganda outlet RT reports that the order is effective immediately upon signature by the Russian president.

But RT's report also exposes a key unanswered question -- how can Russia sell the S-300 to Iran if UN sanctions still block the move?

The contract for supplying S-300 missile systems to Iran was signed in 2007 and implied the delivery of five S-300 squadrons worth $800 million. But in 2010 the contract was put on hold due to the UN imposing sanctions on Iran.

Tehran answered with filing a nearly $4 billion lawsuit against Russia’s Rosoboronexport arms dealer company to a Geneva arbitration tribunal.

This all relates to the nuclear deal negotiated by the P5+1. At least according to the language posted by the U.S. government, sanctions on Iran would only be raised after it was confirmed that Iran was in full compliance with the deal -- and only sanctions related to the nuclear program would be lifted. Recently, however, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that sanctions must be lifted immediately, before the deal is in place.

It's not immediately clear when any delivery of the S-300 to Iran has been planned.

-- James Miller