The Associated Press reports: Iran has deployed a Russian-made S-300 air defense system around its underground Fordo nuclear facility, state TV reported.
Video footage posted late Sunday on state TV’s website showed trucks arriving at the site and missile launchers being aimed skyward. It did not say whether the system was fully operational.
Gen. Farzad Esmaili, Iran’s head of air defense, declined to comment on the report in an interview with another website affiliated with state news. “Maybe if you go to Fordo now, the system is not there,” he was quoted as saying Monday. He added that the S-300 is a mobile system that should be relocated often.
Russia began delivering the S-300 system to Iran earlier this year under a contract signed in 2007. The delivery had been held up by international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, which were lifted this year under an agreement with world powers. [Continue reading…]
The New York Times reports: Iran said on Sunday that a person close to the government team that negotiated its nuclear agreement with foreign powers had been arrested on accusations of espionage and released on bail.
The disclosure, reported in the state news media, appeared to be the latest sign of the Iranian leadership’s frustration over the agreement, which has failed so far to yield the significant economic benefits for the country that its advocates had promised. Iranian officials have blamed the United States for that problem.
Despite the relaxations of many sanctions under the accord, which took effect in January, Iran faces enormous obstacles in attracting new investments and moving its own money through the global financial system.
The Iranians are still blocked from using American banks, an important transit point for international capital, because of non-nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the United States. [Continue reading…]