Following talks with Israel, Putin freezes S-300 sale to Iran

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Russia has halted Iran’s order of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, a report said.

The move was made after Russian President Vladimir Putin consulted with Israeli officials who protested the sale, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.

Russian S-300 missile system. /Reuters
Russian S-300 missile system. /Reuters

In discussions with Putin, Israel said it feared that at least some of the S-300 missile systems would likely fall into the hands of Iran’s Lebanon-based terror proxy Hizbullah.

“The presence of long-range anti-aircraft missiles along Israel’s border would threaten both military and civilian flights inside Israel,” the Al-Jarida report said.

Israel is said to have also provided evidence to Putin that Hizbullah had in the past received other surface-to-air missiles sold by Russia to Iran.

The report said that Russian pilots operating in the area confirmed Israel’s claims, identifying SA-22 missile batteries in Hizbullah-controlled territory in Lebanon.

Since the lifting of international sanctions after its nuclear deal with world powers, Teheran has placed large orders for Russian-made heavy weaponry, including missiles, warplanes, submarines, and tanks.

Meanwhile, Israel’s has solidified its ties to Moscow, with Putin granting the Israel air force permission to operate over Syria against threats to the Jewish state. Israel also agreed to allow Russian aircraft to use Israeli air space in the course of Moscow’s operations in Syria.