Russia is set to hand over the first set of S-300 air defense missile system to Iran as part of a deal that was signed in 2007, a report by Sputnik News said Wednesday, citing a source. The report also added that the Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan will participate in a ceremony for the first delivery of the system, which will be sent through the Caspian Sea.
“Hossein Dehghan will participate in the ceremony of delivering the S-300 in Astrakhan on Thursday,” the source said, according to Sputnik News.
The deal was signed between the two countries for $800 million to deliver five S-300 missile systems to Iran. However, the contract was suspended in 2010 due to a United Nations Security Council resolution, which placed an embargo on arms deliveries until it was proved that Tehran had peaceful motives behind its nuclear project. Following the suspension of the deal, Tehran filed a lawsuit worth $4 billion against Russia, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported.
The deal was finally back on track in April last year after Iran and the six world powers decided on a comprehensive nuclear agreement that decided to lift the sanctions against Iran if it promises to use its nuclear capabilities only for peaceful purposes, Sputnik News reported.
On Monday, a Russian foreign ministry official, Zamir Kabulov, had said, according to Tasnim News Agency, that the “deliveries will be made in the nearest time.”
On Tuesday Dehghan also said, according to Russia's Tass News agency, that his country’s key focus is to promote stability in the region and to strengthen its defense capabilities.
“The most important task is to strengthen our security both in terms of quality and in terms of quantity so that we could ensure protection from possible attacks by our enemies,” Dehghan told a local news network, according to Tass. “Our defense policy and our defense doctrine exclude any possible aggression against other countries.”
A source had told Tass earlier that Iran is looking to procure Russian-made S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system, Sukhoi Su-30SM (Flanker-C) multirole fighter and other military hardware. The report added that Tehran is also looking to buy the Bastion (SSC-5 Stooge) coastal defense missile system, Yakovlev Yak-130 (Mitten) combat trainer, Mi-8/17 (Hip) helicopters, frigates and diesel-electric submarines.