Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express Israel’s “dismay” with the Kremlin decision to supply S-300 missiles to Iran.
Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that he told Putin on April 14 that Moscow’s lifting of a ban on the sale of the missiles to Tehran will “only increase Iran’s aggression in the region and will destabilize security in the Middle East.”
The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin, who issued a decree the previous day lifting the self-imposed ban, told Netanyahu that the S-300 system is “designed purely for defensive purposes” and would not threaten Israel’s security.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz referred to the Kremlin’s decision on April 14 by saying Israel is “very disturbed” and that is is “wrong.”
He added that “we think that it will convey the wrong message to the Iranians that they can get such kind of weapon while sponsoring terrorism all over the Middle East. I think that this is another negative impact or consequence of the Lausanne framework.”
Ali Shamkhani, deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said in Moscow on April 14 that Tehran believes Russia will deliver S-300 missile systems to the Middle East nation this year and that ending the ban would “help further promote” Russian-Iranian ties.
The secretary of Putin’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said it would “take time” for manufacturers to prepare the deliveries.