'Big losses' if Russia halts S-300s
Press TV – July 5, 2010
Moscow stands to lose billions of dollars in arms and aerospace deals with Iran if the Kremlin sticks to its guns and refuses to deliver the S-300 air-defense missiles to the country, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports.
Iran will just turn to China for its weapons systems, thus depriving Moscow of a major source of revenue, the newspaper further said.
Russia announced it would freeze delivery of five mobile S-300OPMU batteries to Iran after the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Tehran on June 9 over its refusal to abandon its nuclear program.
These included harsher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo.
This incensed Tehran, which had been complaining for months that Moscow was dragging its feet on delivering the truck-mounted S-300s under a 2007 contract.
Russia cited 'technical difficulties', but it was under intense pressure from the United States, as well as Israel, not to supply the missiles.
Tehran wants the system for air defense purposes.
The S-300 can engage multiple targets, missiles and aircraft at ranges of more than 100 miles at low and high altitudes.
Iran's Parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, said last week during a visit to the Syrian capital of Damascus that the S-300 contract was concluded before the Security Council passed Resolution 1929.
"It's an old contract," he said, "Therefore it has nothing to do with the resolution. Moreover, it's a defensive weapon."
Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that Russia's immediate financial losses over the S-300 will amount to $800 million plus penalties for breach of contract estimated at $400 million.
Last updated 06/07/2010