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Iran launches missile case against Russia

Published time: August 24, 2011 12:27
Edited time: August 24, 2011 20:30

Air defense missile complex S-300 PMU-1

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Iran has filed a lawsuit against Russia in an international court for non-supply of defensive S-300 anti-air missile complexes, in order to give Moscow a solid juridical precedent to force it to deliver the weapons according to the contract.

­Iranian ambassador in Russia Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi announced the legal action.

“We consider the S-300 complex as not falling under the UN Security Council resolution, therefore we are suing Russia to give it this legal cause,” ambassador told journalists at a press-conference in Moscow.

The UN resolution 1929 dated to June 2010, the fourth of its kind, restricts supply to Tehran of all conventional weapons, including missiles and missile systems, tanks, assault helicopters, fighter jets and warships. Technical and financial help to obtain spare parts is also forbidden.

Russia complied with the resolution when President Dmitry Medvedev signing a special decree in September 2010, freezing the delivery of S-300 to Iran.

On August 20 this year, the head of Russia’s state arms corporation Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin, shared plans to restore arms delivery to Iran once the UN Security Council rescinds sanctions against Iran.

Actually, there is another path to deliver S-300 to Iran – via Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez has already volunteered to arbitrate, but this path also has its traps: sophisticated equipment needs maintenance which is impossible to deliver properly third-hand during a guarantee period which might last about 20 years for this case.

The $800 million contract to deliver five divisions of S-300 PMU-1 to Iran was signed in 2007.

The US and Israel, considering this weaponry to change the balance in the Middle East, have done everything within their power to block the contract.

Since Russia agreed to follow the UN resolution and froze the delivery, Iran’s officials have accused Russia of being “under the influence of Satan.”

Later, the WikiLeaks whistleblower website published some information about Russia “exchanging” the contract with Iran for the latest Israeli UAV technology.

In October 2010, Russia’s state Oboronprom corporation signed a contract with Israel Aerospace Industries to arrange production of UAVs in Russia, but Moscow never officially linked this deal with the frozen S-300 contract with Iran.

Military expert Igor Khokhlov thinks that Iran needs the S-300 to protect its nuclear facilities.

“Iran says it needs this system to protect its civilian population and civilian targets. But definitely, the S-300 is going to be a part of their nuclear program, and the idea is to protect its nuclear facilities that could be attacked by Israel or the United States,” he said.