Iran to receive Russian air defense missiles by end of 2015: Minister
TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse
In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. AP PhotoIran will receive the bulk of the S-300 air defense missile systems it ordered from Russia by the end of the year, Tehran’s defense minister has said.
“We signed a contract with Russia. It is being done. We will acquire a large portion of the systems by the end of this year,” Iranian Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan told state television late Nov. 10.
He said Iranian troops were being trained in Russia to operate the surface-to-air missile systems.
Earlier this week, the state-run Russian Technologies corporation (Rostec) announced the signing of a delivery contract in Tehran for S-300 missiles.
Moscow in April lifted a ban dating from 2010 on selling the missile systems to Iran, ahead of Tehran sealing a final historic deal with world powers in July to curb its nuclear program.
Russia will provide Iran with a “modernized and updated” version of the missile systems, following up on an initial contract signed in 2007, Rostec Director General Sergey Chemezov had said in a statement.
Once the first part of the contract is fulfilled, Moscow expects Iran to drop its lawsuit at a court in Geneva seeking damages for the suspension of the original deal, Chemezov said.
The decision sparked condemnation from Israel and concern from Washington, as it came before the lifting of the sanctions by the UN Security Council.
Arieh Herzog, a former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Program, had said he didn’t expect the shipment to set off a regional arms race and that as far as Israel was concerned its main impact was to complicate any potential Israeli airstrike against Iran.