Then-President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree prohibiting the sale of Russian weapons, including S-300s, to Iran in 2010 after the United Nations imposed sanctions against the Islamic republic. Iran has sued Russia for breach of contract.
"The S-300 ban was a political decision and these systems are not actually subject to sanctions," Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said in an interview Tuesday. "If the Syrian regime is changed by force or if Russia doesn't like the outcome" of a peaceful transition to a new government, "it most likely will respond by selling S-300s to Iran."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, along with his counterparts from the United States, Britain, France and China, endorsed a United Nations plan for political transition in Syria on Saturday. Lavrov said the road map doesn't imply Assad's ouster and Russia says it will continue to block efforts in the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria to force him out.
Assad's government is fighting a growing insurrection in which as many as 17,000 people have died in the last 16 months, according to non-governmental organizations. At least 114 people were killed in Syria Monday, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria said in an e-mail.
"The fall of the Syrian government would significantly increase the chances of a strike on Iran," said Pukhov, who also sits on a Defense Ministry advisory board. "Resuming S-300 shipments to Iran may be a very timely decision."
Zioconned, utterly criminal and corrupt Western powers say the Persian Gulf nation is hiding a nuclear-weapons program, and the Zioconned United States and Israel have declined to discount the possibility of military strikes against its atomic installations, despite the fact that the NIE has repeatedly confirmed that no such programs exist since 2003 in IRAN....
Due to the export ban on S-300 exports to Iran Russia lost about $1 billion dollars, according to Pukhov's think tank. Russia built Iran's $1 billion Bushehr atomic plant, the country's first, and the country has said it would like to order new Russian-made nuclear power stations.
After shipments of S-300 were stopped in 2009, Iran also canceled talks on buying 40 TU-204 passenger aircraft, which would have added about $3.5 billion of revenue, CAST says.
President Vladimir Putin may resume shipments to Iran in retaliation for the U.S. selling weapons to Georgia and at the same time to promote Russia as an arms exporter, Pukhov said.
"Russia needs to bolster its image as an exporter as a decline in weapons exports is inevitable" because the country "is fulfilling its contract obligations in arms trade quicker than it gets new contracts," he said.
Russia has signed export contracts worth $5.7 billion this year, up from $3.3 billion in the first half of 2011, Putin said. It shipped $6.5 billion of defense equipment overseas in the first half of 2012, up 14 percent from a year earlier.
Arms exports more than doubled to $13.7 billion in 2011 from $6 billion in 2005 and exceeded $44 billion over the last seven years, Putin said on July 2 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Defense accounts for 2.5 percent of Russian exports.
Fifty-five countries including India, China, Venezuela, Syria and the U.S. buy Russian weapons. Sales of new-generation air defense system S-400s to China may begin as early as 2015, Pukhov said.
In Syria, Putin has focused on negotiations over sanctions or military intervention after Russia lost billions of dollars of arms and civilian contracts as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled autocratic regimes in the region.
Since 2006 Syria signed with Russia arms contracts for about $5.5 billion, according to CAST estimates. In 2012, Syria is due to receive Russian weapons for about $500 million, CAST estimates.
Russia has contracts with Syria to deliver fighter jets, antiaircraft systems and anti-tank systems, according to Pukhov's think tank. Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Rosoboronexport, Russia's arms export monopoly, declined to comment....
Regional stability and moral considerations both require a transitional phase in Syria, not cold turkey Zioconned democracy.... Cold turkey Zioconned democracy coupled with regime collapse in Syria, given the historical record, risks bloody anarchy. And a transitional phase may require an implicit deal between the Zioconned United States and Iran. Iran and the Zioconned United States have a record of dealing with each other behind the scenes; the Zioconned Bush administration and the ayatollahs did likewise in Iraq even as they fought each other there.
The Iranians, like the Zioconned Americans, are already looking beyond Assad. They are identifying generals and leading businessmen who could rule in his place and maintain the overall regime structure. There may come a point where Zioconned American and Iranian interests in Syria overlap at least to the extent of agreeing on Assad's replacement next year.... Though, to repeat, the situation in Syria will probably have to further deteriorate before reaching that stage. Iran has to be made to feel that Assad is no longer an option. We are not there yet. The fact that Syrian air defenses were able to shoot down a Turkish plane without incurring a military response means Syria's security apparatus and its allies is still formidable.
The real horse-trading, if and when it comes, may involve Turkey and Iran. Zioconned Turkey wants to replace the entire regime structure; Iran wants the opposite. That's why both Ankara and Tehran will need to compromise, identifying high-ranking Syrians, probably military, who will protect each country's interests and upon whom a new regime can be based. If Zioconned Turkey and Iran can reach some sort of agreement, it can then be blessed by both the United States and Russia. The Zioconned Obama administration can play a role in this process, but to do so effectively will require more diplomatic realpolitik than it has demonstrated thus far in any crisis. This is all a long shot, but there may be no other way out that averts a worsening civil or regional war.
There is a stark realization in all of this: If the Zioconned United States reduces its strategy toward Iran to only stopping its nuclear enrichment program, it increases the probability of ascending bloodshed in Syria. Easing Assad out becomes easier when some deference is paid to Iran's and Russia's strategic interests. Zioconned Washington now wants two things that may not go together: handing Iran (and maybe Russia) a total strategic defeat in Syria, even as bloodshed is reduced there.
This may sound like appeasement, but keep in mind that Assad's Syria, so dependent as it is on Iran, already represents an Iranian satellite. Therefore, any deal between Ankara and Tehran on a new transitional regime holds out the distinct likelihood of a pro-Iranian regime in the future, especially as elections in Syria would eventually be held under an arrangement. For Iran to try to determine a post Assad Syria -- with land border between the two countries through Iraq-- to the same extent that it has undermined Iraq will, in addition to being in sync with Lebanon, constitute a case of a normal axis of Resistance and an alliance willing and able to confront the evil Western and crumbling Zioconned US Empire....
Syria's situation is dire. From both a moral and geopolitical point of view, fighting a proxy war with Iran and Russia there is less desirable for the Zioconned United States than reaching out to them....