S-300 Missiles to Be Delivered by Yearend

S-300 Missiles to Be Delivered by Yearend S-300 Missiles to Be Delivered by Yearend

Russia has promised to deliver the S-300 surface-to-air defense missile system to Iran by the end of the year, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said in an interview with state television on Saturday.  

In 2010, Russia cancelled the deal to sell the S-300 to Iran, which prompted Tehran to take legal action claiming damages, but it recently reversed their decision and said Iran will receive the system, ISNA reported him as saying.

Moscow had used the fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program as an excuse to ban the delivery of the missiles. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to lift the ban after Iran and major powers reached an initial nuclear deal in April.

Asked if there will be a new agreement, the defense chief answered, "There is no new contract, but we have added an amendment to the old contract, because there have been some upgrades in radar and guidance systems of the S-300 and we should pay for them."  

On Iran's efforts to develop a domestically designed air defense system, he noted that the Bavar-373 missile system is different from the S-300 system, although its function is the same.

The minister added that Iran needs both the Bavar-373 and the S-300 to cover its airspace and the former will be launched by April 2016.

  Talks on Fighter Jets

On the possible purchase of fighter jets from Russia, he explained, "We have entered into preliminary negotiations and if we can reach an initial understanding, then we will talk about transferring technology and domestic production too."

The military official also touched on the impact of the July 20 UNSC Resolution 2231 (endorsing the nuclear accord) on Iran's missile program and stressed, "The resolution says Iran must not develop nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, while Iran never had any intention to do so."

He noted that the restriction will last just eight years, unlike in Resolution 1929 which had stipulated that engaging in any activity relating to ballistic missiles were totally banned for an unlimited time.

"In proportion to threats, we decide which type of missiles should be developed, built and tested, and when to launch military exercises."

Brigadier General Dehqan said Iran may decide to increase the range of its missiles to deal with possible threats if the need arises.  

On comments about possible western measures against the missile program, he said the missile industry is domestic and is not vulnerable to foreign restrictions.