Moscow Hopes to Sign S-300 Deal with Tehran Next Week: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Russian diplomat said that an agreement on the delivery of Russian S-300 missile defense systems to Iran is likely to be signed next week.
“I very much hope that there will be (a deal), though their partners are the Defense Ministry, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Rosoboronexport. This is not a matter the Foreign Ministry deals with,” Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan and head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov told RIA Novosti.
He added that an Iranian delegation would visit Russia next week for talks on military-technical cooperation, to include the topic of S-300 deliveries.
“Yes, a large Iranian delegation will be arriving in Moscow. Firstly, they will participate in the MAKS air show, and, of course, a part of the delegation… will hold talks on military-technical cooperation,” Kabulov said, adding that “the negotiations will of course include S-300s.”
Rossia Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, also quoted a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying the delivered S-300 systems will be equal to the number mentioned in the contract signed by the two sides.
Back on Tuesday, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan announced that a new contract for the delivery of Russian-made S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran will be signed soon.
Dehqan said at the time that the contract will be signed by the two sides in Russia in a week or two, adding that according to the new deal, four battalions of S-300 missiles will be delivered to Iran, instead of three battalions in the previous agreement.
He went on to say that within a short period after inking the new agreement, the missiles will be supplied to Iran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin decided in April to lift a ban on the S-300 missile system delivery to Iran. The ban had been introduced by former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.
Under a contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 defense system batteries.
In 2010, Medvedev cancelled the contract as he came under strong US and Israeli pressure not to go ahead with the sale of the weapons system, but his pretext was that the sale was covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.