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Delay in S-300 supplies can’t affect Russia-Iran strategic relations

November 19, 2013, 14:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin: we are prepared to cooperate with the Islamic Republic of Iran within normal military-technical cooperation
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, November 19, 14:06 /ITAR-TASS/. The delay in the supplies of the air defense systems S-300 “cannot affect strategic cooperation between Russia and Iran,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahiyan told a news conference here on Tuesday.

“The cooperation between Russia and Iran is developing in different spheres, particularly economic, cultural and other spheres,” he said.

In 2010 the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev introduced a ban on the supply of the air defense systems S-300 to Iran according to the resolution of the U.N. Security Council for the delivery of modern weapons to Iran.

In retaliation Iran filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Arbitration to the tune of 900 million dollars over Russia’s denial to deliver the air defense systems S-300 to the country. On June 7, Iranian Ambassador in Moscow Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi stated that Tehran expects a response from Moscow to the proposal to revoke the lawsuit. “The ball is on Russian side now, but we are prepared to continue cooperation over the air defense systems S-300. We expect a response from Russia to our proposal,” he said then.

For this purpose, Iran stated that the country may drop the lawsuit in the Geneva Court of Arbitration over the air defense systems S-300, if Russia fulfills the deliveries of the weapons.

The court initiated a rise of the Iranian lawsuit to three billion dollars, almost to four billion dollars. On June 10, Reza Sajjadi gave this comment on this situation, “We demanded 900 million dollars for the damage caused to us on the lawsuit (for the failure to supply the air defense systems S-300), and the court added another three billion dollars to this sum as the penalty,” the diplomat noted. “So, those people who said that they will support you (Russia) in this position (on the failure to deliver the air defense systems S-300) had just ruled on a fine to punish Russia that the air defense systems were not delivered to Iran,” the ambassador added.

Meanwhile, Russia hinted unequivocally to Iran that the country should refuse its claims. The supplies of Russian weapons in Iran can be discussed only as part of international restrictions, and only Iran should drop the lawsuit against Russia. “All talks will be possible, if specific lawsuits against Russia are suspended,” he said.

The Russian deputy prime minister noted that Russia would act toughly according to the list, which restricts the supplies in different countries, including Iran. “We have never got beyond this list. We are prepared to cooperate with the Islamic Republic of Iran within normal military-technical cooperation,” the deputy prime minister added. “But it is extremely important so that this cooperation will not be overshadowed with different lawsuits,” Rogozin said, giving the definitive reply to the question, whether this is the Iranian lawsuit over Russia’s refusal to deliver the air defense systems S-300.

Several days later in early September, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin did not give any instructions to negotiate the deal for the sale of the air defense systems S-300 to Iran.

Meanwhile, Moscow hopes that the situation over Iran’s lawsuit in the International Court of Arbitration against Russia’s refusal to deliver the air defense systems S-300 will be settled. “The lawsuit is submitted in the court of arbitration. I am convinced that different aspects of military-technical cooperation will be discussed in detail at the meeting,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters before a meeting with Putin and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on September 13.

“We have made this proposal and hope that we will succeed to settle this issue,” the Russian presidential aide noted.

Already a month later, on October 5, Iran stated that the situation over the air defense systems S-300 cannot put up an obstacle for the development of the relations between Russia and Iran. “I do not consider this issue at the level, which could have become an obstacle for the development of our relations,” Iranian Ambassador in Moscow Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi told reporters then.

The ambassador also noted that Russia and Iran do not conduct serious talks over the supplies of the air defense systems Antey-2500. “Although the issue is raised, but no serious talks were held yet,” he stated.

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