Tehran-Moscow Coop. Vital to Fight Terrorism

Tehran-Moscow Coop. Vital to Fight Terrorism Tehran-Moscow Coop. Vital to Fight Terrorism

Improved military cooperation between Iran and Russia could provide an essential boost to the campaign against terrorism, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said.

"None of those who pose as fighters against terrorism, such as the United States, have taken any step in this regard and have supported terrorists instead, so Iran-Russia cooperation is essential for the anti-terrorism campaign," Baqer Hosseini also told ICANA on Wednesday.

Russia and Iran have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fight in a five-year-old war against armed rebel groups that enjoy the support of Saudi Arabia and its western and Arab allies, and seek to oust him.

Earlier this month, Russia delivered the first batch of the S-300 air-defense missile system, providing technology that was blocked before Tehran signed a deal with world powers on its nuclear program in July last year.

The lawmaker said, "I believe that the upgrade of bilateral relations should have occurred long ago. We could have begun to enhance cooperation with Russians since early in the sanctions years." 

A top Russian arms export official said on Tuesday that the delivery of S-300 systems is going as planned.

"I would even say that we're well ahead of schedule," Alexander Fomin was quoted by TASS news agency as saying. "Hopefully, everything will be fine."

Tehran is in talks with Moscow about the purchase of other "authorized" weaponry, he added.

"The talk is about only authorized items that are not on the UN list [of prohibited offensive weapons systems]."

Hosseini said Iran-Russia cooperation has so far been highly effective in the fight against terrorism. 

"If Russia remains committed to this cooperation, we can take massive measures in the region that would lead to the elimination of terrorism," he said.

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 around 150 km away, although it has not yet been used in armed conflicts worldwide.  

Iran bought the latest variants of the system, S-300 PMU-2 Favorite. 

S-300s have been operated by a number of countries, including Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. 

Russia last exported S-300 systems in 2010, when 15 squadrons were delivered to China.

Production of S-300 systems was then suspended as Almaz-Antey, the main producer of Russian air defense equipment, launched production of the next-generation of S-400s.