Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Claims of Russia Suspending Iran S-300 Deliveries Are Bollocks

They originate with Israel - which has an immense interesting in seeing them scuttled


We're not sure what the deal is with The Jerusalem Post but recently it has published more than one elaborate tale that nobody else wants to touch with a six foot pole. In its latest such offering it picked up a story from the Kuwaiti daily called Al Jarida that Vladimir Putin has decided to "punish" Iran by suspending deliveries of S-300 air defense systems because Tehran violated its earlier agreement not to transfer sophisticated Russian weaponry to Hezbollah. Supposedly this evidence was delivered to Putin by Israeli intelligence.

Now the weirdest part of this story is why would of all publications in the world an Arabic language Kuwaiti daily be the one with such a great inside track on a story involving Russians, Iranians and Israelis. It turns out there is an explanation for that – Al Jarida is in fact a known Israeli front:

Al-Jarida is seen as tightly linked with Netanyahu’s close associates. Since Netanyahu’s return to the Israeli government in the spring of 2009, his colleagues allegedly have, on occasion, used the Kuwaiti paper to leak information without leaving footprints. 

Many in Israel and the West view leaks in Al-Jarida as originating Israeli sources, which tends to increase their credibility.

So the timeline is: Israelis tell a story to Al Jarida they want published. Then Jerusalem Post picks up the story as having originated in Kuwait rather than Israel.

The Iranians for their part insist the report is nonsense. They maintain the date of the delivery has not been set, albeit the first delivery is ready to go, over unresolved "technical issues" rather than any Russian decision to "punish" Tehran:

There are no problems with the delivery of the S-300 [to Iran], however there is a number of technical issues, which remain unresolved. The work on this issues is underway," a source in the Iranian Defense Ministry said.

A member of the Iranian National Security Commitee said the dates of the delivery and the receipt of the missile systems had not been determined yet.

"I have different information regarding this issue. As I said earlier, the first delivery of the systems was ready, though it had't been delivered yet. The delivery date will be reported later, however the date of the receipt has not been set yet," Ismail Kosari, a member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee (NSFP), said.

This rather less elaborate version sounds far more believable, albeit the talk of "unresolved technical issues" makes the rebuke of the Kuwaiti-Israeli report weaker than it could have been.

However, even before this "controversy" was started by Al Jarida and The Jerusalem Post the Russians had already offered an explanation that passes the Occam's Razor with flying colors:

MOSCOW, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The shipment of Russian S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran has been delayed due to payment issues, said the Kremlin on Thursday.

"The deal has not been paid for properly, so it is premature to speak about a concrete delivery date," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

So the only reason the deal hasn't yet gone through is because Iran – a third world country impoverished by sanctions and heavily invested in the expensive Syrian civil war – has yet to scrape the money for it? That sounds like the simplest, most straightforward and likeliest explanation for sure.


Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.