Moscow Confirms Sale of S-300s

Moscow Confirms Sale of S-300sMoscow Confirms Sale of S-300s

Russia on Tuesday confirmed its decision to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran, but said it could not yet announce a date.

"The decision on delivering S-300 to Iran has been taken but the realization of the project will take some time," Yevgeny Lukyanov, deputy head of Russia's security council, was quoted by Russian agencies as saying, AFP reported.

"As I understand, the time of delivery has not come yet," he said.

Talks on the controversial deal, which has been frozen since 2010, finished on Monday with Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian describing them as "successful".

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday that the agreement is still being finalized.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month lifted a ban on supplying Iran with the sophisticated systems, following the landmark framework deal Tehran struck with the major powers over its nuclear program.

He said several days later that Iran is "demonstrating very high flexibility and clearly wishes to reach a compromise on this nuclear program," which is why Moscow lifted its own ban.

Now Russia argues that the missile system is exclusively defensive and does not even fall under the sanctions.

Amir Abdollahian predicted that the delivery would go through "at the soonest opportunity possible".