Russia hopes to be able to sign an agreement with Iran next week on the delivery of the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to the Islamic Republic, a top government official says, Press TV reported.
"I very much hope that there will be [a deal], though their partners are the [Russian] Defense Ministry, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Rosoboronexport. This is not a matter the Foreign Ministry deals with," Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan and head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second Asia Department, told the country's RIA Novosti news agency on Friday.
Kabulov also said that an Iranian delegation would pay a visit to Russia next week to discuss bilateral military-technical cooperation, including the delivery of the missile defense system.
"A large Iranian delegation will be arriving in Moscow. Firstly, they will participate in the MAKS air show, and, of course, a part of the delegation... will hold talks on military-technical cooperation," Kabulov noted, adding that "the negotiations will of course include S-300s."
Moscow had banned the delivery of the missile defense system to Tehran in 2010 under the pretext that the agreement it signed with Iran in 2007 was covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against the country over its nuclear program. The resolution bars hi-tech weapons sales to the Islamic Republic.
On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the defense system to Iran.
The decision to deliver the system came after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia plus Germany - reached a mutual understanding on Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.
Last month, Vladimir Kozhin, Putin's aide on military and technical cooperation, said the S-300 system is to be modernized before being delivered to Iran.
The International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) air show is held every two years at the Ramenskoye Airport located 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Moscow.
Largest aviation companies from Russia and many other countries display their best products including helicopters, passenger planes and super jets at the air show.