Defense Minister Due in Moscow

Defense Minister Due in Moscow
Defense Minister Due in Moscow

Defense Minister Lieutenant General Hossein Dehqan is to visit Moscow today at the official invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

The visit is aimed at improving mutual relations and boosting defense, technical and military cooperation.

Dehqan intends to discuss issues of mutual interest in meetings with several high-ranking Russian officials, IRNA reported on Sunday.

Attending a TV program on Wednesday, Dehqan said Iran will soon sign a contract with Russia for the purchase of Sukhoi Su-30 warplanes.

"We will also bid on a contract to cooperate in the production process [of the aircraft]," Dehqan added.

He did not clarify the count or the price offered for the fighter jets, nor did he mention the exact time for the signing of the contract.

The minister denied reports on Iran's negotiation with China for the purchase of J-10 fighter planes.  

Dehqan's trip comes about one year after the Russian defense minister's visit to Tehran in January 2015, which was the first of its kind in 15 years.

Shoigu's trip was on the eve of the final rounds of Iran's nuclear talks with world powers, when discussions on reinstating sanctions on Iran's military industry were at a peak level. In the course of that visit, the two countries discussed outstanding issues, such as the old case of S-300 missiles.

Although Iran and Russia had signed a deal on the purchase of S-300 missiles, Russia banned the delivery of air defense systems to Iran in 2010. The measure was taken on the pretext that the military trade would contradict a UN Security Council sanctions resolution, which had placed an embargo on selling hi-tech weapons to Iran.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the restriction in April 2015 after Iran and the six major powers (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain, plus Germany) reached a preliminary nuclear deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier in the month.