Azerbaijan , Baku, Oct. 10 / Trend
Russia must fulfill its contractual commitment and deliver the S-300 missile system to Iran as the system is not subject to UN Security Council sanctions, reported Press TV with reference to IRNA quoting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying.
Asked about the non-delivery of the Russian missiles by a lawmaker in the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) on Sunday, Salehi said that the issue was being pursued through diplomatic channels.
"The Foreign Ministry has taken political and legal steps in parallel," he said.
Referring to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's decree prohibiting the delivery of the missile system to Iran, Salehi said, "Summoning the Russian envoy to the Foreign Ministry...and urging Iran's diplomats to discuss the issue with Russian counterparts were examples of those steps."
"This issue will be followed until achieving a result and serving the country's interests. Foreign Ministry has also taken steps to use the capacity of Paris International Court [of Arbitration]," he said.
Salehi said that the Russians have tried to change Iran's mind about filing a lawsuit but Iran's Foreign Ministry will seriously pursue the matter with the help of other relevant bodies to reach a final result.
"The Russians thought that through the non-delivery of these missiles to Iran after President Barack Obama was elected...they could solve problems related to the [US] missile shield and also expand trade and nuclear ties [with Washington]," he said.
Under a USD 800-million contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 air defense systems.
Russia has returned Iran's $167 million prepayment recently.
However, the delivery was repeatedly delayed until the UN Security Council adopted US-engineered sanctions Resolution 1929 against Iran in June last year.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree in September to prohibit the delivery of the defensive system to Iran.
In August, Seyyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, Iran's ambassador to Russia, said Tehran had filed a lawsuit against Russia at the International Court of Justice over Moscow's refusal to deliver the air defense systems.
This is while Commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili told Fars News Agency on September 20 that Iran was building a more sophisticated version of Russia's S-300 missile defense system at home.
"The flaws and defects of the (Russian) S-300 system have been corrected in the indigenous version of the system and its conceptual designing has been finished," he added.
The S-300, a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems, were developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.