Russia Missile Offer to Be Examined

Russia Missile Offer to Be Examined Russia Missile Offer to Be Examined

Iran will look into Russia's offer to deliver Antey-2500 anti-aircraft missiles instead of S-300 missiles, a defense ministry source told al-Hayat newspaper, Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.

Moscow and Tehran signed an $800 million deal in late 2007 on the purchase of S-300 missile systems, but three years later Russia decided not to ship the air defense systems to Iran under the pretext that it was covered by the fourth round of the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program. In 2013, Russians announced that Iran-bound S-300 anti-aircraft systems were dismantled and recycled.

Following Moscow's failure to deliver the systems, Iran filed a complaint against the Russian arms firm Rosoboronexport with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva.

After the meeting between Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in Tehran on January 20, Iranian and Russian media reported that Moscow may deliver the S-300 system to Iran.  Fars news agency said the two countries would resolve problems with the delivery of the advanced missile system, while Russia's RIA state news confirmed the issue was once again under discussion.

The head of Russia's Rostec conglomerate, Sergei Chemezov, said on Monday Moscow has offered Iran its latest Antey-2500 anti-aircraft missiles instead of S-300 surface-to-air missiles, and Tehran is weighing the decision, TASS news agency reported.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, at a regular press briefing on Monday, voiced objection to Russia's decision, saying, "If the reports are true that Russia has decided not to sell the S-300 system to Iran, we would certainly welcome that, but we would have similar objections to a sale of the Antey-2500 system. So we'll wait for more details and comment on it at that point in time," according to a transcript of her remarks posted on the website of US state department.