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MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. A contract on the delivery of Russia’s S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran is still being finalized, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
"I can’t say now when the delivery will take place. The colleagues who do it professionally are now finalizing the contract. As for the timeframe, I can’t say anything," the deputy foreign minister said.
Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yevgeny Lukyanov said earlier on Tuesday a decision on the supply of S-300 air defense systems to Iran had been made but gave no exact timeframe.
"A decision on the delivery has already been made. As far as I understand, the time for the delivery has not yet come," he said, adding some time would be required to agree the details of the fulfillment of this decision.
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.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday Russia’s voluntary embargo on deliveries of S-300 missile systems to Iran is no longer needed due to progress in the resolution of the situation around Iran’s nuclear program.
"Initially, the decision to suspend the implementation of the contract, which was already signed and came into force, was made in September 2010," he recalled. "It was done in the interests of support for consolidated efforts of the six international negotiators to stimulate a maximally constructive process of talks on settlement of the situation around Iran’s nuclear program."
The minister particularly stressed that "it was done absolutely voluntarily."
"Resolution 1929 of the Security Council, which was approved in 2010, just like any other UN resolutions did not impose any restrictions on deliveries of air defense weapons to Iran. I will emphasize, it was done in the spirit of goodwill to stimulate progress at the talks," he said.