Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live Q&A program that it was acceptable to lift the ban on selling the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran because Tehran is “demonstrating a lot of flexibility and an obvious desire to reach a compromise on their nuclear program.” “In effect, all participants in the process have announced that an agreement has been reached.
Now they only have the technical details to deal with, and they will complete this before June. This is why we made this decision,” Putin said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week there was “no more need” for the 2010 embargo, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif lauded the move by “an important partner.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Putin on Tuesday to warn that the sale would only wreak more havoc in the Middle East.
“If someone fears that we have started cancelling the sanctions, apparently our colleagues do not know that the supply of these systems is not on the UN list of sanctions,” Putin continued in the Q&A, during which he answered 74 audience questions over nearly four hours. “We suspended this contract absolutely unilaterally.