Expert: If sanctions against Iran allow S-300 sale, U.S-Russian “reset” policy failed

According to the New York Times, the Obama Administration agreed that Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles will be allowed for sale to Iran under the UN Security sanctions proposal. This will be covered under the “defence weapons sales” which Moscow demanded as a concession in exchange for its support for the sanctions.

S-300 is a long range anti-aircraft missile system capable of engaging and shooting down multiple enemy aircraft. Russia announced the sale in 2007, but refrained from delivering it due to the US and Israeli pressure. If Iran deploys S-300, the military option of neutralizing its nuclear weapons program by an aerial campaign may become much more difficult. The news of the Obama Administration concessions to Moscow, including taking Russian entities off the US sanctions list, raises serious questions about the wisdom and effectiveness of the Russia “reset” policy, pursued by the Administration since its announcement in early 2009.

The “reset” policy has resulted in abandonment of the George W. Bush-era missile defence deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic; announcement — under the Nuclear Posture Review – that the U.S. will not produce new nuclear weapons; verbal promises not to deploy a strategic missile defence system; toning down of rhetoric on individual rights in Russia; and a see-no-evil attitude towards the Russian agenda in the former Soviet Union, known as the “near-abroad”.

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