Tehran shows interest in Russian S-400 air defense systems

Other News Materials 15 February 2016 11:17 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran has shown interest in the deliveries of Russian S-400 air defense systems but the two countries are not currently holding any negotiations on the topic, Russian Special Presidential Envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said, Sputnik International news agency reported.

"No, there are no talks being held on the S-400," Kabulov said. "The Iranians have noted that they would principally be happy [to receive them], but there haven't been any negotiations."

A number of news outlets earlier cited Hossein Dehghan as saying that Tehran could purchase the S-400s from Moscow if necessary and that the issue was apparently being discussed.

Kabulov also said that Russia will soon deliver S-300 air defense systems to Iran.

"Deliveries will be made soon," Kabulov said.

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan earlier said that the first shipment of Russian S-300s would be made in the first quarter of 2016.

Earlier, Iran ordered from Russia five S-300 divisions worth over $800 million. However, in autumn of 2010, the then President Dmitry Medvedev banned transfer of the equipment to Tehran. The contract was terminated, the prepayment was returned to Iran, but as the contract was not observed Iran filed a suit to the Geneva arbitration court claiming almost $4 billion. In spring 2015, Russia's President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on supplies of the S-300 systems to Iran.