S-300 Delivery to Iran to Start in ‘Nearest Time’: Russian Official

Iran will take delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems in “the nearest time”, a Russian foreign ministry official said Monday.

“Deliveries will be made in the nearest time,” Zamir Kabulov, who is also Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, told RIA Novosti on Monday.

Under the previous contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 defense system batteries.

But the contract, worth more than $800 million, was revoked after then-President Dmitry Medvedev banned the supply of those systems to Tehran in 2010.

Later, Iran lodged a $4 billion lawsuit at an international court in Geneva against Russia’s arms export agency.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided in April to lift the ban on the S-300 missile system delivery to Iran.

Kabulov said that the Islamic Republic is also displaying interest in buying more advanced, S-400 missile systems, but no talks are underway at the moment on this matter.

“No, there are no talks being held on the S-400. The Iranians have noted that they would principally be happy (to receive them), but there haven’t been any negotiations,” he said.

The remarks come as Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan left for Moscow on Monday at the official invitation of Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu to hold talks with senior Russian political and defense officials.

Enhanced defense, military and technical cooperation between Tehran and Moscow are among main objectives of the Iranian minister’s visit.