Iran and Russia are still holding negotiations on the S-300 air defense missiles, an Iranian official said Monday, according to the Mehr news agency.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jabari Ansari said Iran and Russia’s defense officials have held consultations on the delivery of the missile systems, adding details of the talks will be announced to the public in due time.
The remarks came a day after Russia's Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, arrived in Tehran, where he met President Hassan Rouhani and delivered a "special message" from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“The visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Tehran immediately after the visit of his Iranian counterpart Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan is a testament to the two countries’ close relations and the ongoing exchange of views between the two sides,” Ansari said Monday, according to Mehr.
The issue of Russia’s sale of S-300s to Iran has been ongoing for several months. Reports last week said that that Iran is on the verge of signing a massive arms deal with Russia and that it would receive advanced S-300 missiles systems from Russia shortly.
The sale of the S-300, originally conducted in 2007, has been repeatedly delayed due to Western pressure given that UN nuclear sanctions ban the delivery to Iran.
But last April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting a ban on the delivery of the S-300 systems to Iran, explaining that his decision was motivated by Iran's drive to find a solution in talks over its nuclear program, which led to a controversial nuclear deal last July.
Since then there have been repeated reports that the delivery of the missile systems was imminent, the latest coming last week.
Russia denied last week’s report, saying Iran has yet to pay for the shipment.