S-300 Deal May Be Close

S-300 Deal May Be Close
S-300 Deal May Be Close

Russia hopes to sign an agreement with Iran next week on the delivery of the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to the Islamic Republic, a senior government official said.

“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,” Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan and head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department, told RIA Novosti on Friday.

Kabulov said an Iranian delegation will visit Russia next week to discuss bilateral defense cooperation, including the delivery of the missile system.

“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 noted, adding that “the negotiations will of course include S-300s.”

Moscow had banned the supply of the missile system to Tehran in 2010 under the pretext that the agreement it signed with Iran in 2007 was covered by the fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program. The resolution barred hi-tech weapons sales to the Islamic Republic.

On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a presidential decree paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the defense system.

The decision to deliver the system came after Iran and major powers reached an initial understanding on Tehran’s nuclear program on April 2.  

Last month, Vladimir Kozhin, Putin’s aide on military and technical cooperation, said the S-300 system is to be modernized before being delivered to Iran.