The Russian president has repealed the ban prohibiting the delivery of S-300 missile air defense systems to Iran, according to the Kremlin’s press service. The ban was introduced by former President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. …
The decree enters into force upon the president’s signature.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the decision, saying that Moscow’s voluntary embargo on S-300 deliveries was no longer necessary, due to the progress in Iran’s nuclear talks made in Lausanne on April 2.
The S-300 system is considered a game changer. It can track aircraft, cruise or ballistic missiles at a distance of 300 km (185 miles). It can engage up to six targets at the same time. Its mobile launchers can traverse unimproved roads and launch within five minutes of stopping. The capabilities of the S-300 system would make an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities much more difficult — and possibly costly in lives and aircraft.
So it seems that the ‘agreement’ which is not an agreement that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Iran on behalf of the P5+1 will not only fail to significantly impede Iran’s development activity, allow it to ignore the several Security Council resolutions against it for violating the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty that it signed, and provide sanctions relief, but has also served as an excuse for Putin to make a few bucks while destabilizing the region.
You may be asking “but aren’t there sanctions against arms sales to Iran that haven’t been lifted yet?” Unfortunately, back in 2010 when UN sanctions were applied, the Obama administration cut a deal with Russia in order to gain its support. The deal lifts sanctions previously applied to various Russian suppliers of arms and material for nuclear and missile development, and includes a “loophole” that specifically exempts the S-300 purchase from the Iran sanctions. In return Russia promised to voluntarily suspend the delivery of the S-300s, which were originally ordered in 2005.
It is reasonable to assume that if Israel is planning to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, it would prefer to do so before the S-300 systems become operational.
Combined with the probability that the non-agreement agreement will quickly clear the path for Iran to become a nuclear weapons state, this development makes it more likely that Israel will take action sooner rather than later.
Such an attack and Iran’s response will be bad for Iran, bad for Israel and absolutely terrible for southern Lebanon where Hizballah’s missiles are ensconced among civilian dwellings.
It’s almost as if this is the outcome desired by our friends in Washington and Moscow!