Tehran says talks are underway with Moscow to reach a settlement on the delivery of Russian-made S-300 missile defense systems to Iran.
“In line with the friendly ties between Iran and Russia, negotiations between officials and experts in charge are continuing, so that the international obligations of the Russian side will be fulfilled and a result will be reached on the S-300 system,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Saturday.
A contract inked in 2007 requires Russia to provide Iran with at least five S-300 missile defense systems.
However, Moscow refrained from meeting its obligations under the pretext that they were covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council resolutions against Iran.
In September 2010, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning the delivery of the S-300 systems to the Islamic Republic.
Russia’s refusal to deliver the systems under the contract prompted Iran to file a complaint with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva against the Russian arms firm Rosoboronexport.
On May 30, Russian Technologies (Rostech) CEO Sergei Chemezov said that Moscow sought to reach a settlement with Tehran to have Iran withdraw its lawsuit against Rosoboronexport over the deal, as Russia’s chances to win the case “are very slim.”
Chemezov said that the US had mounted great pressure on Moscow to stop the agreement under the pretext that the deal was a breach of the UN sanctions. The Russian official added, however, that Washington later changed its rhetoric, saying the UN resolution did not specifically mention the S-300 system and claiming that Russia had acted on its own.
On July 31, Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Seyyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi said there were no negotiations between Tehran and Moscow over a replacement for the S-300 systems.
In June, Sajjadi had rejected a proposal by Moscow to provide the Islamic Republic with the Tor anti-aircraft system as a substitute for the S-300 systems.