S-300 air defense systems to be shipped to Iran in August or September – Rostec chief

© Vitaly V. Kuzmin
Russian S-300 air defense missile systems will be shipped to Iran in August or September of this year. The contract was renewed in 2015 after international sanctions against Tehran were lifted following a nuclear deal signed with world powers.

The delivery of the first vehicles of the S-300 complex will be made in about half a year’s time, Sergey Chemezov, the head of the Russian state-owned high-tech giant Rostec, told RIA Novosti.

According to the Rostec chief, the delivery will be completed by the end of 2016.

He also said that the delay was caused by Tehran’s $4 billion lawsuit against Russia’s arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, at an international court in Geneva, which was filed in 2010 and is still active.

“We have agreed [with the Iranians] that the lawsuit will be withdrawn immediately after the first batch is delivered,” Chemezov explained.

There have been numerous reports about S-300 deliveries to Iran within the last year.

In November 2015, Iranian ambassador Mehdi Sanaei told the Persian-language daily Etemaad that the “delivery is underway.”

Earlier that month, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan had announced Tehran would receive the Russian air defense systems by the end of the year, which for Iran is March 20, 2016.

Tehran is going to buy “as many S-300 air defense systems as it needs,” Brigadier General Dehghan stressed at the time.

Iran is expected to get one of the latest versions of the air defense complex, the S-300PMU-2 Favorit, manufactured by Almaz-Antey.

In mid-February, Iran's General Staff told Russia’s Sputnik news agency that delivery is scheduled for “tomorrow.”

However, there has been no confirmed information about Iran having receiving any S-300 complexes on its territory.

The initial S-300 contract between Moscow and Tehran was signed in 2007 and implied the delivery of five S-300 squadrons worth US$800 million.

The contract was put on hold in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev due to the UN sanctions imposed on Iran.

Russian President Vladimir Putin repealed the ban in April 2015.

The last time Russia supplied S-300 systems abroad was in 2010, when 15 squadrons were delivered to China.