Russia’s decision to resume the supply of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran is a politically beneficial move for Moscow, argues Camille Grand, the director of the Foundation for Strategic Research.
By lifting the ban on deliveries of S-300 to Iran, the Kremlin let everyone know that Russia is returning to the center of the geopolitical action, currently taking place in the Middle East, Camille Grand, the director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, told French newspaper Liberation.
The triangle, consisting of Moscow, Tehran and Damascus, sent a clear message to the United States and the Persian Gulf states, as the change in the balance of power in the region, the political expert said.
“Russia wants [once again] to become a major political player in the Middle East. Russia wants to assert itself as a patron of the countries in the region that were ostracized by the West.”
Grand also added that Moscow’s ambitions in the Middle East are not limited to Syria and Iran, but could potentially stretch further into the Arab world. Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Cairo showed that Russia is willing to build relationships with Egypt as well.
The United States has already reacted to the news and expressed its concern about Russia’s S-300 sale to Tehran, pointing out that the arms deal might create instability in the Middle East. Russian officials, on the contrary, stated that the sale would contribute to stability in the region. The S-300 sale to Iran would restore the balance of power in the Middle East, countering Saudi Arabia’s military build-up in the region.
The S-300 missile system can shoot down more than a dozen targets simultaneously, including aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. The S-300 is a defensive system and has a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles).