Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday his decision to lift a ban on delivering S-300 missile defense system to Iran was a result of Iran’s efforts to find a solution with the West on its program.
Putin approved Monday 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 also described as “needless” while the West is achieving progress in the nuclear talks with Iran.
After Russia’s S-300 missiles move, United States President Barack Obama said he would sign a compromise bill which would give Congress a voice on the nuclear talks with Iran, backing down from his veto threat on any possible legislation on the nuclear deal.
Stating Russia would still cooperate with its partners in the United Nations, Putin said lifting the ban on S-300 defense systems would work as a deterrent in the Middle East.
"And now with the progress of the Iranian nuclear track - and that is obviously positive - we do not see any reason to continue to keep the ban [on the delivery of the S-300] unilaterally."
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.
The deadline for a final agreement on the nuclear talks were arranged to be held by June 30, but Iranian officials said they might ask to extend the date if the requirements are not met.
“If the deal doesn’t meet the criteria the leader has introduced for a good deal, we would extend the time,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, a member of the Iranian negotiating team.