According to the details of the amicable agreement, which the Russian authorities are ready to conclude with Iran, leaked in the media, Moscow is ready to supply Tehran with Tor-M1E air defense systems, and in a fairly short time. However, Iran, of course, is not satisfied with such a proposal. Currently, in Tehran, they are ready to withdraw a lawsuit against Russia for 4 billion dollars only in the case of the delivery of C-300 complexes to the country. There is nothing unusual in this, if we consider that the “Thor” complex proposed to Iran is an air defense system of a completely different class. The Tor-MXNXX air defense missile system is a short-range system that can be integrated into Iranian air defense, but only as one of the elements, it simply cannot replace the C-1, since these are systems of different purposes with different tactics. technical characteristics. At the same time, experts recognize that the Russian C-300 air defense system is absolutely necessary for Tehran to ensure the security of the country from a possible air attack.
History Iran’s lawsuit against Rosoboronexport filed with the Geneva Arbitration Court began last year, and even then the Russian side admitted that there was practically no chance of winning the court. Until recently, Moscow did not comment on the course of the trial with Tehran, but recently the general director of the Rostec state corporation (formerly called “Russian Technologies”) Sergei Chemezov at the opening of the military plant in Jordan said: “We are trying to negotiate a settlement agreement with Iran, so far special results. "
It is worth recalling that the contract for the supply of Tehran 5 divisions S-300PMU-1 (total cost of about 900 million dollars) was signed back in 2007 year. This agreement immediately caused sharp discontent on the part of Israel and the United States. After 3 a year later, the UN Security Council adopted another resolution on Iran, which condemned the country's leadership for not wanting to stop its own nuclear program. This document introduced new sanctions against Tehran, including a ban on the transfer of modern weapons to Iran.
In September, 2010, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on measures to implement the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council. After this, the path to the delivery of the C-300 air defense system to Iran was blocked. In response to this step, the Iranian state-owned company Aerospace Industries Organization and the Iranian Ministry of Defense filed a lawsuit with the Geneva Arbitration Court. The lawsuit against Rosoboronexport requires payment of 4 billion dollars. This amount was made up of the cost of the C-300 contract itself, the cost of preparing systems for setting up air defense systems on combat duty and moral damage. According to some data, this amount was also included a penalty on other military contracts between the countries, starting from 1995, when, as part of the Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement, Russia refused to supply weapons to Iran.
At the same time, Iran argued that the C-300 air defense system does not fall under the resolution adopted by the UN. According to this resolution, the delivery of "missiles and missile systems" to Tehran is prohibited, but the resolution does not contain subcategories of ground-to-air missiles. Vladimir Yevseyev, director of the Center for Socio-Political Studies, notes that Russia's position is really vulnerable, the supply of C-300 was banned by a decree of the Russian president, and not by a UN Security Council resolution.
Understanding that the risk of losing this case in court is very high, the Russian authorities offered Iran an alternative in the form of supplies of the Tor-M1E air defense system. In 2012, Tehran received the latest 29 complexes of this system under a contract concluded in 2005. Among the advantages of this proposal is the fact that the Iranian military has already sufficiently studied and mastered these complexes. Moreover, in case of reaching the relevant agreements, Russia promises to form a schedule for deliveries of the air defense system in such a way as to reduce the time of their transfer to the customer to a minimum.
Naturally, Iran is not satisfied with such a proposal. The range of the Russian C-300 complex on the 1,5 order exceeds that of Tor-M1 in range (150 km. Vs. 10-12 km.) And significantly in altitude (almost 30 km. From C-300 and 10 km. From "Thor-M1"). Tehran also noted the fact that the Tor-М1Е complexes already purchased from Russia are quite sufficient, and the Russian C-300 system is the priority for the country.
The fact that negotiations between countries are underway indicates that Russia does not feel comfortable in connection with the lawsuit filed by Iran and is trying to find a way out of the crisis, said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. In turn, Vladimir Yevseyev believes that the signing of a new agreement on the supply of arms between the countries is possible, since at present the Iranian armed forces have many gaps that Tehran needs to fill. At the same time, the expert believes that Iran will be as scrupulous as possible in this matter and will take only what the country cannot yet produce on its own or buy from the PRC. After the conclusion of the agreement, Gore-Chernomyrdin in Iran is generally quite skeptical about the development of military-technical cooperation with Russia. Then our country suffered significant image losses, as it was able to convince many that it was subject to Western influence on MTC issues.
According to Kommersant, sources close to Rosoboronexport claim that, despite Iran’s willingness to compromise, Russia will continue to seek the withdrawal of the lawsuit from Geneva from Tehran and is ready to conduct a “long trial”. The stakes in this dispute are really very high: 4 billion dollars is almost ¼ Russia's annual revenue from arms sales, according to the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, the arms trade brought the country 2012 billion dollars only in 15,16 year.
The fact that Moscow nevertheless offered Iran a replacement in the form of one air defense system to another, quite eloquently indicates that the ban on 2010 of the year was originally a common hypocrisy. If Russia so piously believed in the presence of international legal restrictions on the supply of C-300 air defense systems to Tehran, then at present it is offering Iran the same type of weapons, but with a significantly smaller radius of action. The groundlessness of Dmitry Medvedev’s refusal to supply complexes under a contract concluded between countries was already visible.
According to the resolution, which did not take into account the ground-to-air missiles, Russia could put C-300 air defense systems to Iran on absolutely legal grounds. Even in the US administration, in which they knew very well that the resolution adopted by the Security Council did not prevent Russia from selling air-defense complexes to Iran, it seemed that they did not expect Moscow to decide to disarm Iran. Upon seeing the decree signed by the Russian president, the White House was most likely stunned by the fact that the then Russian leadership suddenly decided to become "holier than the Pope of Rome."
In the “bottom line” of disrupting this contract, Russia received a “net” minus in the amount of 900 million dollars, plus an additional minus in the amount of 4 billion dollars, which the Geneva arbitration will most likely force Moscow to pay to Tehran. The fact that this trial is obviously losing for the Russian side was also acknowledged by the head of Rostec corporation, Sergey Chemezov, and the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin.
In this case, the damage to our country from the failure of this contract is not limited to the loss of money. In the arms business, as in no other, it is customary to always fulfill the obligations assumed by the supply. The weapon does not belong to the category of ordinary "secular" goods: it must absolutely and without fail and operate in time, otherwise it is worthless. Sometimes the buyer is even ready to seriously overpay the contract, but at the same time be confident in the reliability and timeliness of supply. Reliability includes not only the quality of the weapons sold, but also the supplier’s readiness for subsequent maintenance and, if necessary, upgrading the products supplied. From such a complex of reliability over the years, the authority of the seller is formed, which cannot be purchased for any amount.
At the same time, President Dmitry Medvedev at one time simply “threw” Iran, which Israel and the United States threatened with bombing, and did so in front of the whole world. This casts doubt on Russia's position as a reliable supplier of weapons, which is a rather specific product. Certainly, some potential buyers of Russian weapons will now first think about: “But will they refuse to deliver me at the most inopportune moment, leaving me unprotected in the face of mortal danger if I am declared an enemy of the United States, Israel or the whole West.” Such potential losses of Russia from outstanding contracts are quite difficult to estimate in monetary terms. However, it is possible to say with all certainty that 4 billion dollars, which Iran has requested, will seem against this background as an insignificant amount.
Experts believe that the main Russian losses from non-fulfillment of the Iranian contract will not be material, but geopolitical. They represent a great danger for Moscow. Having deprived Iran of powerful defensive armament, Russia left this country without adequate protection from bombing and shelling with cruise missiles. Iran and without the Russian air defense systems will defend much better than the Saddam regime that has scattered overnight, but from a military point of view, the forces in this conflict will be clearly unequal. It cannot be excluded that with time the American-Israeli military coalition will succeed in changing the political leadership in Tehran, turning Iran into its ally.
For Russia, this is a very bad option. After that, the entire arc of the so-called Greater Middle East, with its huge hydrocarbon reserves, which encircles Russia from the south, will be controlled by America. After that, it is unlikely that someone will need different “northern” and “southern” flows, in which Gazprom invests billions of euros today, if the West succeeds in establishing full control over the region, where the prime cost of producing the main energy resources of the planet is several times lower than on deposits in Russia. After that, it is unlikely that anyone will remember the costs that Russia will incur on the international arms market.
At the same time, the loss of the role of the great energy superpower, which Russian authorities and politicians so fond of defying, can only seem like “flowers” compared to the threat to the territorial integrity of Russia, which may appear to our country in the event of Iran’s “fall”. After the conquest of the Iranian springboard, the main world "democratizers", leaving not only Moscow, but also Beijing, will continue to move east and north. At the same time, Russia, like the PRC, will face infiltration of instability, as well as subversive activities at its borders. This may be the true cost of the refusal of President Dmitry Medvedev and his entourage to supply Iran with the C-300 air defense system. The refusal, which hesitates to abolish, and the current top leadership of the country, headed by Vladimir Putin.