Report: Iran obtains 4 S-300 missiles

After sanctions nix deal with Russians, weapons received elsewhere.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 4, 2010 12:02
1 minute read.
The Russian S-300 missile system

S-300. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Iran has obtained four S-300 surface-to-air missiles a semi-official Iranian news agency claimed Wednesday.

Russia was originally supposed to sell Teheran S-300 missiles but canceled the deal as a result of UN sanctions passed against the Islamic Republic for refusing to cease its uranium enrichment program. The West fears Iran will use the enriched uranium to create nuclear weapons, while Teheran insists the program is for peaceful purposes.

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The Fars news agency, which has ties to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, Iran's most powerful military force, said Iran received two missiles from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source. Fars did not elaborate, and there was no immediate official confirmation of the report.

Russia signed a contract in 2007 to sell S-300 missiles to Iran, a move that would have substantially boosted the country's defense capacities. Israel fears that supplying S-300s to Iran would change the military balance in the Middle East.

The S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads at ranges of over 90 miles (144 kilometers) and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet (27,432 meters).

Russia said in June that the tough, new UN Security Council sanctions against Iran prevent Russia from delivering the missiles to Iran, but Teheran has insisted that Moscow is under an obligation to carry out the contract to provide the S-300 missiles to Iran.


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