On January, 1 (date posted: 27-Nov-2006) a very respectable military source, Jane’s Defense, published an article by Keri Smith titled “The Russian state defense exporter denies starting anti-aircraft missile deliveries to Iran.” Allegedly, Rosoboronexport (Russia's arms export enterprise) denied the shipment of Tor-M1 systems to this country. On January, 24 (date posted: 19-Jan-2007) Jane’s Defense published another article by the same author: “Iran receives final Tor-M1 deliveries.” It looks at least strange why these two contrary reports appeared during such a short period of time from one and the same author.
If one takes a minute to look through the Russian sources of that period and before, it will become very clear that Russian officials not even denied, but on the contrary, assured the customer and the observers that the contract would be fulfilled precisely in terms. For example, on April, 19 PRIME TASS quoted the Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Yuri Baluevsky who promised that. Then Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov officially confirmed the contract on December, 5, 2005. Just few of the headlines of News.Ru: “Russia will deliver to Iran complexes Tor-M1 if there is no force majeur” (April, 19, 2006), “Chief of Staff: Russia will deliver air defense Tor-M1, but will not interfere in the conflict” (April, 25, 2006). On January, 3 ITAR TASS reported delivery of the first half of complexes.
Unfortunately, not everybody reads about Russian military news in the Russian sources. And unfortunately, western journalists sometimes tend to misinterpret obvious facts. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union Russia has not dealt with any “grey schemes” in the military trade with foreign nations. This is one of the reasons why Russia does not need to deny the deals nobody has the right to accuse it of.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea