Russia to send Iran first S-300 missile system on Thursday

Russia will send Iran its first S-300 surface-to-air missile system on Thursday, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The long-range, Russian-made missile system will be sent during an official ceremony including Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan, who is in Russia on an official visit, the news agency reported Wednesday, citing an undisclosed source.

The ceremony will reportedly take place in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan, which is on the Caspian Sea, a direct water route to Iran.

The countries are also negotiating a sale of Russian-made Su-30SM multi-role fighter jets to Iran, with the contract expected to be signed this year, RIA Novosti said in a separate report.

The versatile Su-30SM, designed to attack other aircraft as well as targets on the ground, has also been deployed in the Russian military intervention in Syria to provide cover on bombing missions.

Russia and Iran signed a contract to deliver several S-300 missile systems in 2007, but Moscow nixed the deal because of UN sanctions against supplying weapons to the Islamic republic. RIA Novosti reported that the deal had been worth about 900 million dollars.

Last year, after Iran reached an international agreement on regulating its nuclear programme in order to remove sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in April to allow his country to sell weapons to Iran.

In November, a senior Russian defence industry official announced that Moscow would send an undisclosed number of S-300 missile systems to Iran.

Last update: Wed, 17/02/2016 - 13:23

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