Fulfillment of S-300 deal with Iran will take time – Russian official

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 26, 2015)

The right time to begin implementing a contract for the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran has not yet come, Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Yevgeny Lukyanov told Interfax on Tuesday.

“A decision concerning S-300 deliveries to Iran has been adopted, but the implementation of this project will take time. As far as I understand, the right time to make such deliveries has not yet come,” he said.

However, when speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Lukyanov refused to name any specific timeframe for S-300 deliveries to Iran.

“If you want details, you should ask the producer – Almaz-Antey – to provide them. You can also ask them at what technological stage this system is now,” he said.

When asked by Interfax whether these systems could be delivered before the end of 2015, Lukyanov said: “I do not know”.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told Interfax in Moscow on April 14 that, hopefully, Russia would start to deliver S-300 systems to Iran this year.

The Russian president’s aide for military-technological cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said earlier that deliveries of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran would be governed by the countries’ earlier signed contract, but would also take into account today’s realities, including inflation.

On April 13, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin repealed a ban on the delivery of Russian-made S-300 missile systems to Iran.

The presidential decree lifts the ban on the transit of S-300 air defense missile systems through Russian territory, including by air, their exports from Russia to Iran, and also the transfer of such systems to Iran outside the territory of Russia both by sea and by air.

An $800-million contract for the delivery of five S-300 divisions to Iran was signed in 2007. But in 2010 the deal was put on hold by Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1929 on Iran.