Illustration: S-300 missile defense batteries
Illustration: S-300 missile defense batteries Reuters

Israel on Monday denounced Russia's decision to lift a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems as proof of Tehran's newfound "legitimacy" following nuclear talks.

"At a time when Iran denies clause after clause of the agreement declared last week, the international community has already begun easing its sanctions," Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement.

"This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal that is being prepared, and proof that the Iranian economic
growth which follows the lifting of sanctions will be exploited for arming itself and not for the welfare of the Iranian people." 

"Instead of demanding that Iran desist from the terrorist activity that it is carrying out in the Middle East and throughout the world, it is being allowed to arm itself with advanced weapons that will only increase its aggression," he added. 

The S-300 is a long range surface-to-air missile – manufactured by the Russian firm Almaz – designed to intercept aircraft and cruise missiles, and its most advanced models can also target ballistic missiles.

The Commander of Iran's Air Defense Forces, Farzad Ismail, said in early 2014 that the missile "Bawer" (Faith) made ​​in Iran, has reached the operational phase of development, and that it features more advanced capabilities than the S-300 Russian-made missile.

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