MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia's supplies of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran would pose no threat to Israel, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during annual question and answer session officially known as Direct Line with Vladimir Putin. According to the president, such supplies can be a restraining factor in the region.
"We believe that under the developments in the region, particularly in Yemen, the supplies of such defensive weapons may be viewed as a deterrence factor," Putin said.
The Russian leader said Tehran is showing great flexibility on Iran’s nuclear program and that’s why a decision was made on Russia’s S-300 missile systems supplies to the country.
Putin added that Russia will act in concert with partners regarding items on the Iranian sanction list.
He said Russia’s decision to lift the ban cannot be viewed as the lift of the sanctions since S-300 air defense missile systems were not part of the UN list of sanctions imposed in regard to Iran.
"We have suspended the implementation of the contract in unilateral format," Putin said during his annual Q&A session with the nation. "And now with the progress on the Iranian nuclear track… we see no reasons for keeping this unilateral suspension in force anymore."
Iranian Defense Minister General Hossein Dehghan on Thursday said the issue of S-300 supplies has been settled.
"This issue has been settled, the agreement has been reached and now the delivery time is being discussed," he said.
"Six years ago, we signed a contract with the Russian side, certain aspects of that contract will correspond to the present-day conditions," he said. "The contract will be reactivated in accordance with these conditions."
Putin said Tehran is showing great flexibility on Iran’s nuclear program and that’s why a decision was made on Russia’s S-300 missile systems supplies to the country.
"Today the Iranian partners are showing great flexibility and an evident wish to reach compromise on this Iran’s nuclear program," Putin said, adding that Iran should be encouraged for such a stance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing S-300 deliveries to Iran on April 13. The document came into force on the day it was signed.
Under the 2007 contract, Moscow was to deliver to Tehran five divisions of the missile systems of medium range worth over $800 million.
The Iranian side paid $166.8 million in advance. However, until mid-2010 the systems were not supplied to Iran.
In September 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on measures on implementing the UN Security Council’s resolution 1929 that in particular banned the S-300 supplies to Iran.
The contract was canceled and the advance payment was sent back to the Islamic Republic.