Russia and Iran have penned a long-awaited contract for the delivery of Moscow's advanced S-300 air-defense missile systems, a senior Russian defense industry official told reporters at the Dubai Airshow on Monday, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The two sides have been hashing out the details of a delivery of the S-300 — regarded as one of the most capable anti-aircraft missile systems in the world — since President Vladimir Putin lifted a Russian government ban on their export to Iran in April.
“Speaking of the S-300 air defense system, the contract has already been signed,” said Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russia's largest defense and technology holding, Rostec, RIA Novosti reported.
Chemezov, a close Putin ally, said that the two sides had come to terms on a key question dogging negotiations for the S-300 systems since April — a $4 billion Iranian lawsuit filed against Russia's state arms export agency Rosoboronexport in 2011.
Tehran filed the suit after then-President Dmitry Medvedev issued a presidential order in 2010 banning delivery of S-300s to Iran under an $800 million contract signed in 2007 after Tehran came under heavy international sanctions for its nuclear weapons development program.
Iran demanded that Russia deliver S-300 systems under a new contract before removing its suit, but Russia had insisted the lawsuit must be dropped before a new contract would be signed — according to Chemezov, Russia has ceded to Iran's demands.
Under the new contract, Iran will drop its lawsuit after the first stage of the contract is completed, Chemezov was quoted as saying, without specifying what the first stage of the contract entails.