“The recent remarks on the S-300 missile defense system delivery lack correctness and credibility. The executive stages for the delivery of the system are now being taken based on the previously-signed contract,” the statement underlined Monday.
In relevant remarks in September, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the contract between Moscow and Tehran on the delivery of Russian S-300 missile defense systems to Iran would be signed soon.
In 2007, Iran signed a contract worth $800 mln to buy five Russian S300 missile defense systems.
But the deal was scrapped in 2010 by the then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev under the pretext of the UN Security Council sanctions, although the UN embargoes did not include defensive military systems.
Iran filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva.
Moscow then struggled to have the lawsuit dropped, including by offering the Tor anti-aircraft systems as replacement, media reported in August, adding that the offer was rejected by Tehran.
Yet, some reports said the Antei-2500 could be a better solution. The system does not formally fall under the existing sanctions against Iran while still being useful for the Middle-Eastern country.
While the S-300 was developed for the use by missile defense forces, the Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force.
Later, Iran rejected the offer, stressing that it would not change its order.
The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.
The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, designed for the air defense of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases, and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.
In the meantime, Iran designed and developed its own version of the S-300 missile shield, known as Bavar (Belief) 373. The Iranian version has superior features over the original Russian model as it enjoys increased mobility and reduced launch-preparation time.
In April, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan announced that Iran would receive the S-300 air defense systems from Russia in 2015.
“We will sign the contract for the delivery of S-300 air defense systems with the Russian side during an upcoming visit to Moscow in the current year,” Brigadier general Dehqan said prior to his departure to Moscow to take part in 2015 International Moscow Security Conference.
He noted that the Iranian Defense Ministry had studied the details of the S-300 contract and the air defense system would be delivered to Iran before the end of 2015.
“What is important is that since the beginning of talks about this contract, the Americans and the Zionist regime voiced their opposition to the sale of S-300 systems and called for a halt to the implementation of the contract,” Brigadier General Dehqan said.
In April, President Putin removed the ban on the delivery of the missile shield to Iran.
Following the announcement, Brigadier General Dehqan said “the decree came as an interpretation of the will of the two countries’ political leaders to develop and promote cooperation in all fields”.
Putin’s decision was announced hours after relevant reports said the Kremlin also plans to supply China with the advanced S-400 air defense system.
Putin said during a meeting with Iran’s Admiral Shamkhani that his decision to deliver the sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems to Tehran set a role model at global class that every nation should remain loyal to its undertakings.
In January, Tehran and Moscow signed an agreement to broaden their defensive cooperation and also resolve the problem with the delivery of Russia’s S300 missile defense systems to Iran.
The two sides also agreed to broaden their defense cooperation and joint campaign against terrorism and extremism.