Iran negotiates over purchase of missile systems from Russia

Iran negotiates over buying surface-to-air missile systems from Russia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan (L) shake hands during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, February 16, 2016.

Iran has negotiated over buying an S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system from Russia, foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday in Tehran.

World powers had blocked Iran from obtaining the S-300 before it reached a deal last July on curbing its nuclear programme. Russia had cancelled the contract to deliver an older version of the system in 2010 under pressure from the West.

The nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions last month is a light of hope for Russia to reap economic and trade benefits.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Iran on Sunday.

“Iran is negotiating with Russia for providing its military needs… one of the main issues is buying the S-300 missile system,” said ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari to state news agency IRNA.

Iran will start taking delivery of the S-300 within two months, Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying by the Fars agency on Feb. 10.

A Russian news source has claimed that Iran has also shown interest in buying the newer S-400 model, although no negotiations were reported.

Israel has expressed concern towards Iran’s interest in buying S-300 missiles since it claimed it will use all its power to rid the country of occupation.

Shoigu met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday to convey Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special message regarding bilateral relations and some regional issues, Ansari said.

Russia, having put its energy reliant economy at risk by tensioning ties with its neighbouring countries, is desperate to find alternative means to avoiding a crisis.

Russia went through major financial turbulence in 1998 when the government and the country’s central bank decided to devalue the ruble and default on its debt.

TRTWorld, Reuters