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First Russian S-300 Missiles Delivered to Iran

Russia has delivered the first batch of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jaberi Ansari said during a briefing, the Iranian news agency Mehr reported Monday.

In spite of several changes to the delivery time, "the first batch of the equipment has arrived in Iran," Ansari announced. "The delivery of other parts will continue," he added, Mehr reported.

An unidentified source within Russian arms export agencies confirmed that the first S-300 "were shipped to the customer," though without specifying the number of missiles delivered, the Interfax news agency reported.

The deal is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, the source added.

An $800 million S-300 delivery deal signed between Russia and Iran in 2007 was blocked by the Russian side in 2010 amid global sanctions against Tehran. The annulment of the deal was later described by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as a "friendly gesture" toward the West.

A new contract with Iran was signed in November after the Russian self-imposed delivery ban was lifted by decree of President Vladimir Putin in April last year.

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