As a direct consequence of the US and EU push for the lift of the oil embargo and sanctions in exchange for Iran giving up its nuclear program (well, at least partially), Putin has lifted ban on delivery of S-300 missile systems to Iran and authorized the delivery. The contract between Russia and Iran was signed over 5 years ago, but the US and EU imposed anti-Iran sanctions and broad embargo, preventing the delivery at the time. Russian FM Lavrov announced that with the ban lift, there are no more obstacles to the contract completion.
It has to be noted that S-300 isn’t Russia’s most advanced missile defence system. S-400 is a more sophisticated one, and the newest cutting-edge designs are coming up as well. Iran faces dangers in the region and it needs the means to defend itself, while S-300 is a purely defensive system posing no threat, said the Russian leadership.
This new development is happening at the same time the US and EU say they won’t give up on their missile system in Europe, despite the fact that hypothetical aggressor against which this system is supposedly directed – Iran – is giving up its nuclear program. It’s common knowledge that in reality, US missile defence system in Europe is directed against Russia, which both US and NATO have denied for years.
It has to be noted that the Yemen bombings have also influenced the Russian S-300 delivery decision.
In addition to Iran’s need to defend itself from potential aggression by Saudis, US and/or Israel, Russia’s move is part of a complex geopolitical chess game in which S-300 is used as leverage. One of the messages Russia sends to the US and EU is: ‘you make your move – we make ours.’
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