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Viewing cable 09MOSCOW405, RUSSIA DELAYS DELIVERY OF S-300S TO IRAN?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW405 2009-02-18 15:03 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET Embassy Moscow
VZCZCXRO5612
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0405 0491518
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 181518Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2013
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE 0137
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE 0187
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0268
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT IMMEDIATE 0161
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA IMMEDIATE 0052
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 0286
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE 2214
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T MOSCOW 000405 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETTC MCAP MARR MOPS PARM PINR PTER
IR, RS 
SUBJECT: RUSSIA DELAYS DELIVERY OF S-300S TO IRAN? 
 
REF: A. BEYRLE-BURNS FEBRUARY 18 E-MAIL 
     B. MOSCOW 357 
 
Classified By: DCM Eric Rubin.  Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (S) In response to media reports surrounding the visit of 
Iranian Defense Minister Najar to Moscow February 16-18 that 
Russia would move ahead with the delivery of the S-300 air 
defense missile system to Iran, Ambassador expressed strong 
concern to DFM Ryabkov February 17 (ref A).  Ryabkov replied 
that Moscow had "gotten the message."  This followed 
Ambassador's demarches on the issue the previous week to 
Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Prikhodko and PM FP 
Advisor Ushakov, as well as U/S Burns' and NSC Senior 
Director McFaul's expressions of strong concern regarding the 
possible completion of the delivery with FM Lavrov (ref B), 
Prikhodko and Ushakov. 
 
2. (SBU) Late February 17, news daily Kommersant reported 
that Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko said that 
Russia and Iran were "unlikely to agree on deliveries of the 
S-300 air defense missile system" during Najar's visit. 
Davidenko reportedly said that "nothing has changed as to the 
deliveries of S-300 to Tehran" and that "things were unlikely 
to change" after Naijar's visit.  Press reports February 18 
followed up, saying that Russia had "deferred" its plan to 
sell S-300's to Iran "in an effort to improve Moscow's 
relations with the new Obama Administration."  They cited 
Rosoboronexport General Director Isaikin's comment that "if 
the president and government of the Russian Federation make a 
decision, Rosoboronexport must implement it."  Isaikin said 
Russia had not delivered the system to Iran, but was ready to 
do so "if ordered."  Daily Izvestiya also reported that DFM 
Ryabkov said that Russia "saw to it that its military 
cooperation is transparent and in keeping with international 
law." 
 
3. (C) Israeli DCM Yuval Fuchs told us February 17 that FM 
Lavrov was in Israel over the weekend and assured the GOI 
that Russia was not supplying any S-300 missiles to any 
countries in the Middle East.  According to Fuchs, Lavrov 
failed to give any heads up to the GOI about Najar's visit 
this week.  Fuchs added that Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko 
and Deputy FM Aleksey Borodavkin will make separate trips to 
Iran later this month.  Kiriyenko will travel to discuss 
Iran's nuclear facility at Bushehr, while Borodavkin is going 
for consultations. 
 
4. (C) Comment.  Russian officials appear to have stepped 
back, at least temporarily, from announcing a delivery of the 
S-300's, but pressure will remain within the military and 
security services to move forward as much for financial 
reasons as for political or foreign policy considerations. 
The prospect of more constructive U.S.-Russian relations may 
have tempered the GOR response, but we will continue to be 
told that Russia retains its "right" to proceed with an arms 
sale that does not violate national or international regimes. 
 For better or for worse, the delivery of S-300's have become 
a barometer of our bilateral relations. 
BEYRLE