The backstory to Russia’s S-300 missile sale to Iran, defying bans

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By Miles Yu,

At the most critical juncture of the difficult 6-party talk with Iran on ending Tehran’s nuclear program, the Kremlin announced it was lifting the ban on exporting to Iran an advanced missile defense system known as S-300.


The sale of S-300 missile defense system to Iran is particular troubling because it is a blatant violation of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1929 which was passed in 2010 to ban exports of any offensive weapons to Iran. Russia voted in favor of the resolution at the time and banned export of the S-300 system to Iran in September 2010 to comply with the UN resolution.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the order to lift the ban on April 13, arguing that the 6-party talk with Iran had already reached a framework agreement and therefore the action was in compliance with the newly-reached deal.

But Putin appeared to be playing loose with the facts, which are that the framework is just a preliminary step of the talks with Iran, the final step of which will not come until June.

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