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Report: Russia to sell Iran advanced anti-aircraft missile batteries

JTA

September 11, 2013 | 11:30 am

An S-300 anti-aircraft missile battery in Russia. Photo courtesy kremlin.ru

An S-300 anti-aircraft missile battery in Russia. Photo courtesy kremlin.ru

Russia will supply Iran with advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile batteries and a new nuclear reactor, a Russian newspaper is reporting.

The Kommersant daily reported Wednesday that “a source close to the Kremlin” said the agreement would be discussed Friday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Tehran and meets with new Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

The additional nuclear reactor would be built at the Bushehr nuclear site, according to the newspaper.

The decision to supply Iran with the S-300s would renew an $800 million agreement for five of the anti-aircraft missile batteries cancelled by Russia in 2010, reportedly after pressure from Israel. The deal was originally signed in 2007; its cancellation led to tension between Russia and Iran, the Associated Press reported.

The offer comes as Russia attempts to broker a resolution between Syria and the Western world over Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and its alleged use of those weapons last month against the country’s citizens.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was pressured by Israel earlier this year to cancel a plan to provide four S-300s to Syria under a $900 million agreement signed in 2010 that also included six launchers and 144 operational missiles, each with a range of 200 miles.

Western nations also pressured Russia to cancel the Syria deal, saying it would complicate international intervention in the country’s two-year civil war.

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