Over the last several months, Iran has started to feel the bite of the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions, as well as additional bilateral sanctions which have been levied on Tehran because it refuses to comply with its nuclear nonproliferation obligations. The financial, counter proliferation, and military restrictions adopted by the UN Security Council have been augmented by additional measures taken by individual governments and by the response of the private sector internationally. These actions have cut or significantly reduced ties with Iran in several key sectors, including manufacturing, transportation, and energy.
Following the decision by Australia, the European Union, Canada, Japan, and South Korea to impose additional bilateral sanctions on Iran, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree in September which, among other measures, bans the sale of an array of weapons to Iran, and prohibits the transfer of any technologies related to ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. President Medvedev signed the decree to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which was adopted in June and which has imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran to date. President Medvedev's decree means that Russian companies are prohibited from providing tanks, fighter jets, attack helicopters, warships and missile systems capable of carrying a warhead at least 25 km -– including the long-range S-300 anti-aircraft missiles Russia had agreed to supply Iran in 2007, but had yet to deliver.
Sergei Chemezov, chief executive officer of Russian Technologies announced this month that Russia will return to Iran an advance payment of $166.8 million dollars for the missile system.
Mike Hammer, spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement that the "White House strongly welcomes the Executive Order signed by Russian President Medvedev which bans the transfer of advanced weaponry to Iran, including the S-300. We believe President Medvedev has demonstrated leadership on holding Iran accountable to its international obligations from start to finish.
Mr. Hammer praised Russia's "faithful and robust implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1929," and said the U.S. remains committed "alongside our Russian and other (international) partners to finding a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue." He added that this move by the Kremlin "continues to demonstrate how Russia and the United States are cooperating closely on behalf of our mutual interests, and global security."