Tehran, Moscow Prioritize Defense Roadmap

Tehran, Moscow Prioritize Defense RoadmapTehran, Moscow Prioritize Defense Roadmap

Preparing a roadmap for boosting Tehran-Moscow cooperation in the field of defense and military technologies is a priority Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan will pursue during his visit to Russia, which started on Monday.

According to IRNA, the roadmap will incorporate the strategies of President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for fulfilling all the potentials of fostering relations.

Dehqan was to meet high-ranking Kremlin officials, including Dmitry Rogozin, Russian deputy prime minister, and Vladimir Kozin, advisor to the Russian president in military-technical affairs, Sputnik wrote.    

Parties seem ready to strengthen their—although erratic—still historical military ties. While for almost a decade, the media have been writing about the two countries' dismal experience in the S-300 case, Iran's nuclear deal with P5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain, plus Germany), and the critical regional situation, especially the five-year-old civil war in Syria, have set out new conditions.

RIA news agency quoted Russia's Foreign Ministry as saying on Monday that Russia will start the delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran in "the nearest time".

Russia had banned the delivery of air defense systems to Iran in 2010, in spite of signing an agreement on the purchase of S-300 missiles in 2007. The decision was made under the pretext that a UN Security Council sanctions resolution prohibited selling hi-tech weapons to Iran. However, the restricting verdict was reversed in April 2015, after Iran and the six major powers reached a preliminary nuclear deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier in the month.

Now, amid official statements and media speculations, some experts believe that resolving the old case of S-300 is not the only item that need to be pursued.

"Some media speculated that Russia and Iran might embark on new cooperation in the purchase and production of different weapons, including T-90s Tanks, Sukhoi Su-30 warplanes, helicopters," IRNA reported.

  Strategic Bond

Seyyed Issa Daraei, a member of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission, told ICANA, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has devised long-term plans to increase its defense capabilities ... Russia can be a viable option in this regard."

Sputnik reported that buying Russian weapons such as the anti-missile defense system S-400 and its upgraded models are probably going to be discussed in the talks between the two sides' military and political officials.

However, RIA reported that no negotiations are being conducted on this issue at present, despite Iran showing interest in buying the advanced missile systems.

Referring to regional conditions, especially the critical situation in some countries such as Syria and Iraq, Daraei said taking steps for improving defense and military systems is "a necessity for Iran".

The lawmaker added that Iran-Russia relations have improved beyond two neighboring countries and grown to a "strategic regional bond".