Saturday, August 7, 2010

Iran arms itself with cutting edge, long-range missiles Advanced Russian technology can engage multiple targets

Iran has received four S-300 Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems even though Moscow decided not to implement a contract it had with Tehran to deliver them because of the new United Nations sanctions against the volatile state, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

The S-300 systems come from Belarus and one other unidentified country, according to Iran's Fars news agency, which is associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC. However, the government itself has not confirmed the delivery and Belarus officially denies supplying the systems.

"The State Military-Industrial Committee can officially state that Belarus has never held talks with Iran on the deliveries of the S-300 air defense systems," according to committee spokesman Vladimir Lavrenyuk.

However, there are indications that Tehran had been negotiating with Belarus to acquire two surplus, trailer-mounted S-300PT systems, informed sources said. They had been deployed near Minsk but Belarus asked for $140 million for the two systems, sources said.

If Belarus sold the S-300s to Iran, Moscow's approval would have been required. However, the fact that an official Iranian news agency with close ties to the IRGC made the announcement suggests strongly that there indeed was a sale, most likely from Belarus and that Russia would have had to condone the transfer.

The S-300s over time will require refurbishment and upgrading and only Moscow would be in a position to do that, unless the Kremlin has decided to work through the Belarusians to mask its involvement due to the recent U.N. sanctions.

Stanislav Shushkevich, a former Belarusian leader who is now an opposition politician, said Russia indeed has used Belarus as a conduit to deliver weapons to rogue countries.