National Security

Russia To Send Iran $1 Billion-Worth Of Missile Defense Systems

(REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Russia’s massive contract to provide Iran with air defense missile systems is worth nearly $1 billion dollars, according to the head of Russia’s Rostec corporation.

Iran wants to buy the Russian S-300 air defense missile system, considered one of the most effective anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile systems in existence.

“The S-300 cost about one billion dollars,” Sergey Chemezov told the media Monday. “We were through with the supplies of S-300. No plans for anything are on the agenda.”

Iran and Russia initially started contract negotiations for the air defense system in 2007, but they were suspended in 2010. Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the suspension in April, 2015, just a few months before the Iran nuclear deal (also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was signed in July of the same year. The S-300 contract was subsequently fulfilled in October.

The S-300 would add a substantial addition to Iran’s already capable air defense capabilities. The system was first used by the Soviet Union to defend large industrial and military facilities, similar to Iran’s key nuclear sites.

While Rostec may not be supplying additional weapons to Iran, the Islamic Republic and Russia reportedly were in the midst of negotiating a massive arms deal worth $10 billion in November. The agreement would send some of Russia’s most modern military equipment to the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, including the T-90 tank, artillery pieces and various types of aircraft.

Iran saw a massive cash influx after sanctions were removed as a result of the nuclear agreement. It is believed a substantial portion of this money will be put toward military modernization. Iran has also increased its support of various proxy groups across the Middle East, including the Houthi rebellion in Yemen. Technically speaking, the JCPOA prevents Iran from purchasing conventional arms until 2020, and ballistic missiles until 2023.

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