International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Putin and Russia Lift Ban on Missile Sales to Iran

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin approved the delivery of a missile system to Iran. The missile system could possibly complicate the negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program that Washington has been working so hard on. Additionally the sale potentially undermines the efforts of Obama’s administration to sell Congress and foreign allies on the nuclear deal. This is problematic since the U.S. and Iran are still struggling to complete the deal. Also if Iran has advanced air defense missile, Israel and/or the U.S. will have a harder time threatening Iran with airstrikes if they ignore agreements. No timetable has been announced for the deliverance of the weapons to Iran, but the sale was suspended five years ago because of a flurry of UN sanctions against Iran.

Russia has said that the missile sale will not complicate negotiations; instead it will help Iran along. They believe that the missile they are selling (S-300) is a defensive weapon and does not pose a threat to Israel. The Obama administration fears that this deal could be the first of many between Russia and Iran including a deal that would exchange food for oil and this would raise potential sanctions concerns.

A display of S-300 missiles in Russia. These are the missiles that are being sold to Iran.

While Iran has denied repeatedly that it is using its civilian nuclear program to mask their efforts of building a bomb, much of the West is dubious. Arming Iran with missiles is not appeasing these fears.

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