Iran, Russia pursue resolution of S-300 dispute

Iran, Russia pursue resolution of S-300 dispute
Sun Oct 20, 2013 21:30:08

A top Iranian air-defense authority has pointed to the desire by Moscow and Tehran to resolve their lingering dispute over Russia’s failure to fulfill its sale contract to deliver S-300 missile defense systems to Iran.

“Iranian and Russian Defense Ministries are pursuing the case of the S-300 missile systems and have reached good and positive points,” Commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Sunday.

The remarks came following a meeting with visiting Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev, who arrived in Tehran earlier in the day for a formal four-day visit aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation in the field of military and missile systems.

“In political disputes, it is government officials that must be held accountable and follow up on such cases,” said the Iranian commander, adding, “The S-300 missile system is entirely defensive and the issue of sanctions ... does not apply to this case and the Russian side has not raised this concern [either].”

Esmaili further underlined Iran’s great achievements in its defense sector, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic does not depend on the S-300 or similar systems to defend its airspace.

Under a contract inked in 2007, Russia undertook to provide Iran with at least five S-300 missile systems. However, Moscow refrained from meeting its obligations under the pretext that they were covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran.

Following Moscow’s failure to deliver the systems, Iran filed a complaint against the Russian arms firm, Rosoboronexport, with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva.

The Iranian commander described his meeting with Bondarev as “positive,” saying that the two sides exchanged views on Tehran-Moscow “defense cooperation and the exchange of experience and knowledge between the two countries based on common interests.”

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