Why Iran-Russia S-300 system delivery agreement not updated?

Why Iran-Russia S-300 system delivery agreement not updated?

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 16

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

While Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan's visit to Russia was aimed to sign a new agreement for delivering the long overdue S-300 missile systems, he said Apr.16 that any new agreement between the sides was not necessary.

Before Dehghan's statement, the member of Iran Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Esmaeil Kowsari told Trend April 15 that Iran supports the implementation of the agreement signed in 2007 on delivering S-300, but regarding the fact that Russia put ban over selling them to Iran in 2010, the agreement might be updated.

Russia signed the contract in 2007 to sell Iran five S-300 ground-to-air missile systems. The $800-million contract to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran was cancelled in 2010 by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, falling in line with the UN sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear program.

In turn, Tehran filed a currently pending $4-billion lawsuit against Russia in Geneva's arbitration court. However, Russia President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to lift the ban over delivering a long-overdue missile system S-300 to Iran on April 13.

Regarding this fact that Vladislav Menshikov, the CEO of S-300 air defense systems manufacturer Almaz-Antei, said in August 2013 that Russia has dismantled and disposed the S-300 air defense missile systems originally intended for delivery to Iran and this fact that Russia doesn't produce S-300 any more, updating the old agreement is a confusing issue and might imply delivering more advanced S-400 missile systems to Iran.

However, leaving the old agreement unchanged may mean that Russia wants to deliver the ready S-300 systems which is currently used by its army to Iran.

According to the old agreement, Russia was obliged to deliver five S-300 systems. It's not clear whether the ready S-300 systems require any change to become adopted with Iran's needs or not, but as Dehgan said today, the exact dates for delivering the systems to Iran are still under discussion.

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