S-300 deliveries cannot be implemented: Russian deputy foreign minister

Russian deputy foreign minister says S-300 deliveries to Iran no matter of near future

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Russian officials said on Friday the deliveries of S-300 air defence missile systems to Iran cannot be implemented since the first contract was concluded long ago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a decree to lift the ban on the delivery of the S-300 anti-missile defence systems to Iran on April 13, after Iran reached a nuclear framework deal on its nuclear program.

However, a clear date for the deliveries of the defence systems hasn’t been determined despite Putin lifting the ban almost two weeks ago.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday the deliveries of S-300 systems to Iran should be elaborated.

"Since the contract was concluded long ago, naturally that it's impossible to just dust it off in the form it has been preserved," said Ryabkov during an interview with Russian news agency TASS.

"I do not think that it is a matter of near future.”

Russia and Iran increased their trade relations, being strong allies especially over the five years. The two energy-rich states are involved in arms sales, trade nuclear technology, energy, and intelligence agreements.

Putin described the ban for S-300 on Iran as “needless,” saying Iran’s nuclear track with the West is positive which caused him to take the decision.

“We do not see any reason to continue to keep the ban [on the delivery of the S-300] unilaterally," said Putin.
Iran and the P5+1 world powers - the U.S., Russia, the UK, China, France, and Germany - reached a framework deal on Iran’s nuclear program on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne in exchange for removing all economic sanctions from the country.

US and Israel opposed Putin’s S-300 desicion
Days after Putin lifted the S-300 ban, the United States President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed their dissatisfaction.

Obama, in response to Putin’s decision, said he would sign a compromise bill which would give Congress a voice on the nuclear talks with Iran, backing down from his veto threat on any possible legislation on the nuclear deal.

Netanyahu also criticised the decision and informed the Russian president Israel was disappointed, during a phone call on April 14, the next day Putin lifted the ban.

Netanyahu told Putin, according to Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the decision of selling the defence systems to Iran would only make Iran more aggressive in the region and threaten security in the Middle East.

"After this weapons deal, is there anyone that still seriously claims that this agreement with Iran will make the Middle East safer?" Netanyahu asked Putin.

TRTWorld and agencies