Russia has reportedly begun the delivery of the S-300 air defense system to Iran as part of a long-running contract between Tehran and Moscow, reports say.
Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir Putin, as saying on Thursday that “the contract is being implemented, (deliveries of S-300s) are starting.” The official did not disclose further details.
Last month, Sergei Chemezov, the chief executive of the Russian state-owned defense conglomerate, Rostec, said the deal for the S-300 delivery was already signed.
Russia committed to delivering the systems to Iran under a USD-800-million deal in 2007.
Moscow, however, refused to deliver the systems to Tehran in 2010 under the pretext that the agreement was covered by the fourth round of the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. The resolution bars hi-tech weapons sales to Tehran.
Following Moscow’s refusal to deliver the systems, Iran filed a complaint against the relevant Russian arms firm with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva.
In April this year, President Putin lifted a previous ban on the delivery of S-300 to Iran.
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said in mid-August that “all changes” that have been made to the S-300 system by the Russians over the years would be implemented on the battalions that are going to be delivered to Iran.
On November 10, the Iranian minister said that the “executive stage” of the agreement for the delivery of the missile system was over, adding that Iran would receive a “major part” of the shipment in less than two months.
“We have concluded a contract with the Russian side and it has also been signed,” Dehqan said in response to a question about an earlier report on an agreement between Tehran and Moscow on the delivery of the S-300 system.