Russian S-300 missiles strengthen Iran's defence capabilities- MP

Russian S-300 missiles strengthen Iran's defence capabilities- MP

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 15

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

A senior Iranian member of parliament says that delivering Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran would strengthen the country's defense capabilities more.

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.

Iranian defense minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan left Tehran to Moscow on April 15 to sign a deal for receiving Russian-made S-300 missiles.

"We will receive the missile system in the current year," Iran's IRIB quoted Dehghan as saying on April 15.

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.

Praising Putin's decree, the member of Iran Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Esmaeil Kowsari told Trend April 15 that Russia halted delivering S-300 to Iran wrongly due to the pressures, but we welcome Putin's decision.

He said that Iran has started producing its own defense missiles system, with name Barvar-373 after Russia avoided to sell S-300 to Iran. Iran could complete Barvar 373, he added.

Executive Deputy Head of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defence Base Gen.Shahrokh Shahram said earlier that Iran's domestic Bavar-373 missile defense system is more advanced than Russian S-300. Iran is preparing to reveal this system during the current week.

It's not clear how and when Russia wants to deliver S-300 to Iran, while this country doesn't produce S-300 any more and 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.

Responding a question about a new contract which is expected be sealed during Dehghan's visit to Moscow, Kovsari said that the old contract would be updated and then become operational.

He said that any detail hasn't been agreed yet between Tehran-Moscow and should be discussed, but generally, Russia agreed to sell S-300 to Iran.

According to the oil agreement, Russia was obliged to deliver five S-300 systems to Iran with worth $800 million.

Kovsari said that Iran currently has its own long-overdue missile systems, but Iran is a very vast country and under foreign threats, then delivering S-300 would strengthen the country's defense capabilities.

Israel and the U.S. used to say the military action against Iran's nuclear facilities are on the table, but regarding the interim nuclear deal achieved in November 2013 and the nuclear framework deal obtained in early April, the military threats against Iran were subsided.

Kovsari said that the regional countries are not counted as threat to Iran, but with presence of S-300, the trans-regional powers will find out that the consequences of any air strike over Iran's nuclear facilities will increase significantly.

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