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September 11, 2013 10:24 am

Russia to Build Nuclear Plant for Iran, Deliver S-300 Anti-Aircraft System

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Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran. Photo: Hamed Saber. Russia will supply Iran with a modified version of the vaunted S-300 anti-aircraft system and will build a new nuclear reactor for the Ayatollah’s regime, the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The report comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles under international supervision and thus avoid a U.S. strike on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Kommersantreported that the deal between Moscow and Tehran was formulated as part of Russia and Iran’s “commonality of views on the situation in Syria.”

Russia will reportedly also build a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Iran and Russia signed an agreement in 1995 to repair and complete the 1,000-megawatt reactor, which was finished in 2011. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali Akbar Salehi told IRNA this week that Russia would likely hand over the operation of the first plant to Iran in three months.

According to the sources close to the Kremlin, Russia will supply Iran with five battalions of the S-300VM Antey-2500 system, a modified export version of the S-300V. A key condition of the transaction is that Tehran withdraw its $4 billion lawsuit over Moscow’s failure to deliver the systems under the previous contract. Quoting a security policy expert, Kommersant said the anti-aircraft batteries Russia would provide were even better than the ones Iran originally bought.

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