Iran may be willing to receive latter generation of S-300 missiles – expert

Tehran, Iran, Apr. 17

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

During the Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan's trip to Moscow, it was said that Iran and Russia are to update their contract on S-300 missiles, but Dehqan said April 16 that there is not need any update.

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.

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.

In August 2013, Vladislav Menshikov, the CEO of S-300 air defense systems manufacturer Almaz-Antei, said Russia has dismantled and disposed the S-300 air defense missile systems originally intended for delivery to Iran.

Hossein Aryan, expert in military affairs told Trend April 17 that the contract is not actually renewed, but another type of the missile is offered to Iran that is even better than the former one in terms of performance.

"The former contract was formed on S-300 TNU1 missiles; NATO calls it the SA-200. That type of missile was meant for exports," Aryan told Trend on April 17.

But now Russia says it no longer produces that missile, so it had offered Iran the S-300 VM, which is called Anti-2500 in the media, the expert said, adding that the newer version is a better type of the S-300 missile that Russia is going to give Iran.

The fact that they were going to deliver Iran the second type may be due to some growing relations, however outward, between the two governments now that the former missile is not being produced, since Iran had already paid for those missiles, he noted.

"However, Iran's insistence on receiving the former type of the missile and not accepting the offer to receive the Anti-2500 does not have a clear reason, I think," Aryan stated.

"Maybe the only reason for that would be the complaint that Iran had filed against Moscow for not having received the missiles, but I think that that too would be altered due to growing military bonds between the two sides," he concluded.

Edited by CN

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