This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Russian S-300s
Russian S-300s

President Vladimir Putin lifted, on Monday, a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems. This in the aftermath of the very vague agreements between Iran and the West regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Moscow had blocked delivery of the surface-to-air missiles to Tehran in 2010. But the new decree, signed by Putin, lifts the ban on “the shipment from Russia to Iran” of the S-300 missiles.


The Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air weapon system has been the cause for tension between Israel and Russia for the past few years.  Israel believes it would be a “game changer” if it falls into the hands of either Syria or Iran.

Moscow had planned, a couple of years ago, to supply the S-300 to Syria, but financial problems and pressure from Washington undermined the sale. The sale to Syria has now been off the table since the beginning of the bloody civil war in Syria. The Iranian deal, however, is on. Moscow is about to sell the system to Iran, causing much worry in Israel.

The US and Israel have put pressure on Russia to stop the sale, explaining the missile system could be used to shield Iran’s nuclear facilities from possible future air strikes. Israel wishes be able to intervene, in the worst case scenario. According to foreign sources Israel has invested “billions of dollars” in preparations for an attack on Iranian nuclear sites. If this happens the S-300 could complicate matters.