Russia’s decision to lift the ban on selling the S-300 missile air defense systems to Iran would only make Iran more aggressive in the region and threaten security in the Middle East, the Israeli Prime Minister told the Russian President during a phone call Tuesday, according to a statement by Israeli officials.
Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday approved a decree to lift the ban on the delivery of the S-300 anti-missile defense systems to Iran, a ban which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described “needless” while the West is achieving progress in the nuclear talks with Iran.
The progress towards a nuclear deal and Russia’s decision to allow the delivery of the S-300 missiles has drawn criticism from Israel, which views Iran as a threat to its existence.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Putin that Israel is disappointed with the decision.
"After this weapons deal, is there anyone that still seriously claims that this agreement with Iran will make the Middle East safer?" Netanyahu asked Putin, according to the Israeli premier’s office.
Iran and the P5+1 world powers - the U.S., Russia, the U.K., China, France, and Germany - reached a framework deal on Iran’s nuclear program April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne in exchange for removing all economic sanctions from the country.
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon also criticized the sale of S-300, saying that Iran is continuing to arm itself.
Stating that Russia’s lifting the ban on Iran was a direct result of the framework agreement in Lausanne, Ya’alon said lifting the S-300 sale ban involves lifting a sanction, which in turn could help Iran’s economy to grow.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan announced Wednesday that an agreement with Russia on the delivery of the S-300 missiles would be signed during a security conference in Moscow the same day.
“We will sign an agreement for the delivery of the S-300s during my visit in Moscow,” he said.