Tehran, March 11 (IANS) Moscow is set to deliver Russian-made surface-to-air S-300 missile defence systems to Iran before the end of this year, an official said.
“I think we will deliver the S-300 by the end of the year… The first delivery will be in September or August,” Press Tv quoted Sergei Chemezov, head of Russia’s industrial conglomerate Rostec as saying on Friday.
Last month, Iran’s Defence Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the country would take delivery of the first batch of S-300 missiles in the first quarter of 2016.
Russia committed to delivering the systems to Iran under $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 UN Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.
Following Moscow’s refusal to deliver the systems, Tehran filed a complaint against the relevant Russian arms firm with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva.
In April 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree, paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the missile defence system to Iran.
The decision came after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, France, Britain, China and Russia plus Germany — reached a mutual understanding on Tehran’s nuclear programme in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2, 2015.
Tehran also developed its domestically-built Bavar-373 air defence system, which was successfully test-fired in August 2014.
The long-range missile system, which is similar to the Russian S-300, has been manufactured by Iranian defence experts, and is capable of hitting air targets at a high altitude.