Russia yet to decide on Iran S-300 deal

A senior Russian commander says the army cannot make an independent decision regarding the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran.

Tehran has repeatedly voiced disapproval with continued delays in the delivery of the S-300 systems from Russia, which signed an agreement with Iran in 2005 to supply the country with the defense system.

Russia has denied that the repeated delays are related to Israeli pressures.

The chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, said on Monday the decision on the delivery of the system should be made by Russian leaders.

“This decision should be made at state level. We, the military, will follow the leadership’s commands,” General Makarov said.

The sophisticated missile system, according to Western experts, would rule out the possibility of an effective Israeli airstrike on Iranian nuclear sites.

Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. The West, however, accuses the country of seeking to develop an atomic bomb.

The report comes as the US has stepped efforts to garner international support for tougher sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. China and Russia, however, have opposed further sanctions against Iran, stressing that the issue should be resolved through diplomacy.