Russian S-400 Missile Defense System

Will Russia provide missiles to ‘close the entire sky’ over Iran?

Al-Monitor | : Russian officials are weighing the possible risks of selling missile defense equipment to Iran following the military escalation between the Islamic Republic and the United States triggered by the Jan. 3 US assassination of Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force. Some among Russia’s political elite believe closer military-technical cooperation would benefit both countries.

“[We need to] offer Iran an agreement on military cooperation and urgently sell the most modern weapons so that no one dares throw anything in the direction of Iran,” Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party, said earlier this month. He expressed confidence that the S-400 or S-500 missile defense systems would be able to “close the entire sky over Iran.”

Russia had previously considered selling military equipment to Iran, whose capabilities are now significantly limited by the UN arms embargo related to its nuclear program, but that should end in the fall of 2020, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov emphasized in December.

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