Iran’s defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, on Sunday said that Russia will deliver the S-300 missile system to his country by the end of the year, the Mehr news agency reported.
“The previous contract had been canceled but after the recent negotiations Iran and Russia have reached an agreement to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile systems,” he said.
“A new contract has been signed and we have reached full understanding on the matter together with Russia and by the end of 2015 the majority of S-300 missile systems will be delivered,” added Dehghan.
Last week, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said his country and Iran had formally reached a deal for Moscow to deliver Tehran advanced S-300 missile systems.
The S-300 is a long range surface-to-air missile – manufactured by the Russian firm Almaz – designed to intercept aircraft and cruise missiles, and its most advanced models can also target ballistic missiles.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after Tehran claimed that a deal was close with Moscow, and likely to be finalized by next week.
A previous Russian contract to sell Iran the S-300 system by 2010 fell through due to diplomatic pressure surrounding sanctions on the Islamic Republic. However, with the signing of the recent nuclear deal – which includes an astonishing commitment to help Iran protect its nuclear facilities against an attack – Moscow has revived the sale.
In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting a ban on the delivery of S-300 anti-missile rocket systems to Iran. He has explained that his decision was motivated by Iran's drive to find a solution in talks over its nuclear program.
Washington has voiced concern over the deal, but Iran hailed the decision as a step towards "lasting security" in the region.