Monday, February 16, 2009
Russia close to selling S-300 anti-air missiles to Iran for its nuclear sites
February 15, 2009, 9:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
DEBKAfile's military sources report that Iran's defense minister Mostafa Najar travels to Moscow Monday, Feb. 16 to tie up the last ends of Tehran's purchase of a brigade of advanced Russian S-300 air defense missiles to guard its nuclear sites. Our Iranian sources report that Najar will be the guest of the Russian defense ministry and the giant missile manufacturers Almaz Antey and visit the new missile's production and testing sites.
Its components are produced in dozens of factories across Russian – the missile itself at one group, the radar systems in another and the missile batteries at a third.
DEBKAfile's Washington and Jerusalem sources recall that prime minister Vladimir Putin in his previous role as Russian president personally assured the US and Israeli governments more than once that he would never release the lethal S-300 missiles to Iran. Their acquisition would make an air attack on Iran's nuclear facilities extremely difficult and dangerous.
Washington sources believe that the Kremlin is about to comply with Iran's request in order to turn the heat on the Obama administration for a final decision to waive plans to install an American missile shield in East Europe.