Iran official: We have obtained the S-300 missile system
Fars news agency says Tehran signs deal with Belarus after Russia reportedly refused to provide Iran with the surface-to-air system over recent UN sanctions.
A semiofficial Iranian news agency says Iran has obtained four S-300 surface-to-air missiles despite Russia's refusal to deliver them.
The Fars news agency said Wednesday that Iran has obtained two missiles from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source.
Russia signed a contract in 2007 to sell the missiles to Iran but said in June that new UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran prevent delivery. The sale would have substantially boosted the country's defense capacities, raising Israeli fears it would tip the military balance in the Middle East.
In June, a senior Iranian official said that that if Russia persisted in its refusal "to deliver the systems, we are well capable of producing missile defense systems that are very much similar to Russia's S-300 apparatus."
Since the recently approved UN sanctions resolution against Iran, Russia has released several contradicting reports regarding it missile deal with Iran.
The senior Iranian official added that if Russia eventually refused "to deliver the systems, we are well capable of producing missile defense systems that are very much similar to Russia's S-300 apparatus."
Since the UN sanctions resolution against Iran was approved last Wednesday, Russia has released several contradicting reports regarding it missle deal with Iran. Russia said on Thursday it was in discussions with Iran on possible new nuclear power plants in the Islamic state, the country's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters
Israel and the United States have asked Russia not to deliver the missile systems, which can shoot down several aircraft or missiles simultaneously and could potentially be used to protect nuclear facilities.
Western diplomats in Moscow believe Russia is eager to keep the deal in reserve as a bargaining chip. Iran has expressed increasing frustration over the unfulfilled contract.