The five year extension of UN arms embargo against Iran will have no effect for Russian plans to sell S-300 surface-to-air (SAM) anti-missile defense systems to Tehran.
“The SAM is merely a defensive system which fell neither under the 2010 sanctions, when they introduced, nor now that an agreement has been reached as a result of talks between Iran and six mediatory countries on the Iranian nuclear program to extend arms embargo for five years,” an unnamed source was quoted as saying by Interfax on July 14 hours after Defenseworld.net published a report of a possibility of Russia not able to sell the anti-missile system.
Russian Defense Minister Sergie Lavrov said, “Despite the embargo’s five year extension, arms shipment to Iran is possible upon completion of the relevant notification and verification procedure at the UN Security Council.”
“Efforts continue to draft a relevant contract which could be signed once Tehran withdraws its $4 billion lawsuit against Rosoboronexport from the international arbitral tribunal,” the source said.
As per the agreement, the UN arms embargo against Iran will remain for five years and US missile sanctions will be applicable for another eight years. This means, Russia will be unable to sell it any conventional weapons including anti-missile systems, aircraft and tanks for the period the embargo is in force.
However, this has been the consistent Russian line since 2010 ever since the talks for the deal started.
Russia backtracked on a plan to sell S-300 surface-to-air missiles in 2010, banning sales to Iran after international pressure. However, that issue came back to life on April 13, 2015 when Russia lifted its ban on S-300 sales to Iran and the deal was put in the closet with Russia stating that it had to act in accordance with international agreements.