Russia Bound to Compensate for S-300 Delay

Russia Bound to Compensate for S-300 DelayRussia Bound to Compensate for S-300 Delay

Russia should pay compensation for the delay in the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran under the ruling of an international court in a lawsuit filed by Iran over Russia's failure to honor a nearly decade-old contract, a lawmaker said.

"An international court has ruled in favor of the Islamic Republic and Russia should respect the verdict and pay for the delay," Nozar Shafiei said in an interview with ICANA on Wednesday.

Comments by the spokesperson of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission came a couple of days after it was announced that the first batch of the system has been shipped to Iran.

Russia and Iran signed a contract on the supply of five battalions of the S-300 system in 2007. However, in autumn 2010, Dmitry Medvedev, the then president, banned the sales of the systems to Tehran due to UN sanctions imposed on Iran.

The contract, worth more than $800 million, was canceled and the advance payment was returned to the Iranian side.

Later, Tehran lodged a $4 billion lawsuit at an international court in Geneva against Moscow over its failure to fulfill its obligations under the contract.

President Vladimir Putin lifted that self-imposed ban in April 2015, after an interim nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers that paved the way for the July's comprehensive nuclear deal.

Announcing the start of the delivery process, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was quoted by Russian news agency TASS as saying Iran has agreed to waive its claim against Russia.

"After receiving the first batch, Tehran withdraws its lawsuit against Russia in the International Arbitration Court," Rogozin said. "They have agreed it with the Majlis, their parliament, so the deal is being realized in full."

Shafiei disputed Rogozin's remarks, stressing that Tehran has no intention of withdrawing the claim.

"The recent shipment of the S-300 supplies has nothing to do with the issue of the compensation for the delay and Russians should meet their commitments in this relation," he said.

  Phased Shipment

Mansour Haqiqatpour, the deputy chairman of the commission, said, "The systems are made up of various components such as launchers and radars, which will be imported gradually in phases."

Shafiei said Iran demands the immediate delivery of the defense system and if the phase-by-phase shipment is part of another Russian scenario, this would be against the contract between Iran and Russia.

The S-300 surface-to-air system was first deployed at the height of the Cold War in 1979. In its updated form, it is one of the most advanced systems of its kind and, according to British security think tank RUSI, can engage multiple aircraft and ballistic missiles 150 km (90 miles) away.

Haqiqatpour said Tehran is also seeking to sign deals with its northern neighbor for the purchase of two other Russian-made high-tech weapons, namely Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and T-90 battle tanks.