“The Iranian Defense Ministry is following up the contract on the delivery of the (missile) systems and Russia is also fulfilling its undertaking,” Brigadier General Esmayeeli said. He did not mention the exact date of the delivery of S-300 missile systems to Iran by Russia.
In mid-April, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan announced that Tehran and Moscow have worked out an agreement on the delivery of the Russian-made S-300 air defense systems to Iran and are now having final discussions over the date of the delivery.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 13 removed the ban on the delivery of the missile shield to Iran.
Dehqan said a public announcement will be made as soon as final talks over the exact delivery date end.
On April 15, General Dehqan announced that Iran would receive the S-300 air defense systems from Russia in 2015. He noted that the Iranian Defense Ministry has studied the details of the S-300 contract and the air defense system will be delivered to Iran before the end of 2015.
On April 14, local media in Russia said Moscow is capable of delivering five S300 air defense missile systems to Tehran in the first stage of their cooperation.
On April 13, Russia's Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that supplies of the Russian S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran may begin any moment in line with the relevant decree signed by the Russian President.
Putin's decision was announced hours after relevant reports said the Kremlin also plans to supply China with the advanced S-400 air defense system.
In January, Tehran and Moscow signed an agreement to broaden their defensive cooperation and also resolve the problem with the delivery of Russia's S300 missile defense systems to Iran.
The agreement was signed by General Dehqan and his visiting Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu in a meeting in Tehran in January.
The Iranian and Russian Defense Ministers agreed to resolve the existing problems which have prevented the delivery of Russia's advanced air defense systems to Iran in recent years. The two sides also agreed to broaden their defense cooperation and joint campaign against terrorism and extremism.
In 2007, Iran signed a contract worth $800mln to buy five Russian S300 missile defense systems. But the deal was scrapped in 2010 by the then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was unilaterally expanding on sanctions against Iran imposed by the UN Security Council.
Iran filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva, which is currently pending review.
The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.
In the meantime, Iran designed and developed its own version of the S-300 missile shield, known as Bavar (Belief) 373. Iran claims its version has superior features over the original Russian model as it enjoys increased mobility and reduced launch-preparation time.