On Monday, Russia announced it has lifted its self-imposed ban on shipping S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran. The missiles had signed a deal in 2007 worth roughly $800 million to transfer a S-300 surface-to-air missile installation to Iran, but the U.S. and Israel successfully lobbied Russia to kill the deal, arguing that the system could protect Iran’s nuclear facilities from attack.
In 2010, then-President Dmitri Medvedev issued an order banning Russian S-300 missiles from being delivered to Iran. But on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “At this stage, we believe the need for this kind of embargo, and a separate voluntary Russian embargo, has completely disappeared….”
Unwilling to let anything interfere with their plans to make a deal with Iran, the Obama Administration lamely responded through the State Department, whose spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “We don’t think this will have an impact on unity in terms of inside the negotiating room. We think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon, that this isn’t the time to be selling these kind of systems to them.”