Russia said today it would not deliver high-end air defense missiles to Iran in the near future. Russia had signed a contract with Iran for the sale of S-300 missile system in 2007. Last month, President Putin lifted an embargo on delivering such weapons. Now the delivery is postponed indefinitely.
“The right time to make such deliveries has not yet come,” Yevgeny Lukyanov, deputy head of Russia’s security council, said on Tuesday in Moscow. (Financial Times, 26 May)
Russia appears to be balancing its growing relationship with Iran against its ties with Israel and Arab countries.
Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan said on a visit to Moscow last month that he expected the S-300 contract to be reviewed within a month and deliveries to happen before the end of this year.
Oleg Bochkharyov, deputy head of Russia’s military-industrial commission, the government organ overseeing the defense industry, told a media conference in Kazan that Moscow needs to build a new S-300 system for Iran, Financial Times reported.
“That means a delay to be measured not in months but possibly in years,” a person close to the defense ministry toll the Times.
File photo: S-300 air defense system (worlddefencenews.com)