Russia will not deliver the S-300 missile defense system to Iran in the near future, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said today, on April 23.
“I do not think that it is a matter of the near future. It is far more important that a political and legal decision has been taken to open up such an opportunity,” Ryabkov said. He said the situation has changed after the Russian president lifted the ban on the delivery of S-300 missile system to Iran on April 13. Under the deal that dates back to 2007, Moscow was to deliver Tehran five divisions of the S-300 missile systems of medium range worth over US$800 million. Iran paid US$166.8 million in advance. However, the systems were not delivered by mid-2010.
To recall, in September 2010, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the measures of the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolution 1929 adopted on June 2 2010. In particular, the president banned delivery of S-300 systems to Iran. The deal was cancelled and the money was returned to Iran. Ryabkov said Russia will be insisting on the arms embargo on Iran to be canceled at the April 24 negotiations of the political directors from Iran and P5+1. Ryabkov said they will work to persuade the participants in the negotiations that the arms embargo on Iran should be cancelled.
As EADaily reported earlier, in early April, the United States, Iran and five other world powers announced an agreement outlining limits on Iran’s nuclear program. On April 13, President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on delivery of S-300 to Iran. Moscow adopted the decision to cancel the deal on delivery of S-300 systems in September 2010 to support the consolidated efforts of the P5+1and to stimulate a maximum constructive talks around the Iranian nuclear program.