Tehran reportedly sues Russian arms-export company Rosoboronexport for $4 billion in an int’l court in Switzerland, & will only drop the suit if Moscow supplies them with the 5 battalions of the advanced S-300 systems that were ordered.
By Israel Hayom Staff, Shlomo Cesana, Yoni Hirsch, & Eli Leon
Iran is suing Russia over its cancellation of a sale of the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which they had signed to do in 2007 but pulled out of after U.S. and Israeli pressure, according to a report by Russian news outlet Novosti on Friday.
S-300 anti-air missile system mounted on a trailer – Photot: Reuters
According to the report, Iran is pushing forth with a $4 billion lawsuit against Russian arms-export company Rosoboronexport in an international court in Switzerland, and will only drop their suit if Russia supplies them with five batteries of the advanced S-300 system. The original contract was reportedly worth $800 million.
Iran claims that the reason for the cancellation, which was ordered by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 in line with U.N. Resolution 1929 banning the sale of conventional weapons to Iran, was not valid and that the S-300 is solely a defensive weapon.
In recent weeks Russian representatives have reiterated that a deal to provide Syria with the S-300 will be carried out. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “Russia will respect agreements and fulfill its obligations.”
Lavrov’s remarks come despite pressure from the U.S. and Israel, including a flash visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow last month to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The S-300 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile system poses a significant threat to Israeli aircraft. With a range of nearly 200 kilometers (120 miles), an S-300 battery placed in Syria would cover nearly the entirety of Israeli airspace and IAF jets in its range. For Iran, acquiring the S-300 is crucial in hampering the West’s capability to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The Prime Minister’s Office has continued to maintain its policy of not commenting on any report of S-300 sales to enemy states. Unofficial sources have said in the past that multiple Israeli premiers have met with Putin on the matter, subsequently leading to sale postponements.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the “clock was ticking” for Iran. “The reality is that Israel will do what it needs to do to defend itself,” Kerry said during a press conference with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Germany.
On the upcoming elections in Iran, Kerry did not believe they would change the Islamic Republic’s political landscape. “I do not have high expectations that the election is going to change the fundamental calculus of Iran … This is not a portfolio that is in the hands of a new president or the president; it’s in the hands of the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei]. And the supreme leader ultimately will make that decision, I believe,” Kerry said.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=9697