Russia and Iran will sign an agreement for the delivery of advanced Russian-built S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems “soon,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday, the TASS news agency reported.
Ryabkov said that all political questions involved in the Iran S-300 deal, which would see Tehran equipped with some of the most cutting-edge air defense systems on the market, have been solved, and he believes “the contract will soon be signed,” TASS quoted him as saying at the Russian Arms Expo 2015, which opened Wednesday in Nizhny Tagil.
“All political decisions have been made,” he said, possibly referring to an ongoing dispute between the two sides concerning a $4 billion lawsuit Iran filed against Russia's state arms export agency Rosoboronexport in 2011.
Tehran filed the suit after then-President Dmitry Medvedev placed a presidential ban on delivering missiles to Iran that had been promised under an $800 million contract signed in 2007. The ban was a sign of good will toward the West, which feared the S-300 systems would significantly raise the cost of any pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, if the need arose.
In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a presidential ban on the sale of S-300s to Iran.