TEHRAN, January 13, 19:43 /ITAR-TASS/. Iran is planning to send military experts to Russia to choose an alternative to S-300 air defence systems for its army.
Ismail Kosari, chair of the Iranian parliament’s defence committee, told the Fars new agency on Monday, January 13, that he and Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, had met with the Iranian ambassador to Russia to discuss the possibility of replacing S-300 systems with newer ones.
One team of Foreign Ministry specialists has already left for Russia. Another group is to follow it shortly, Kosari said.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that Russian arms supplies to Iran could be discussed only within the framework of international restrictions and only if Baghdad dropped its claims against Russia.
“Any discussion will be possible only if the lawsuits against Russia are suspended,” he said.
Rogozin stressed that Russia would act strictly in accordance with the list that restricts supplies to different countries, including Iran. “We have never gone beyond this list and we are prepared to work with the Islamic Republic as part of normal military-technical cooperation,” he added.
“However it is very important that this cooperation is not burdened with claims and lawsuits,” Rogozin said and answered in the affirmative when asked whether he was referring to Iran’s lawsuits regarding Russian S-300 air defence system supplies.
He stressed that Russia would cooperate with Iran on arms supplies as part of its obligations to the U.N. Security Council.
“I want to say that we have no problems with Iran. We cooperate with that country, it is our major partner. They have elected a new president and we will work with his team,” he said.
Rogozin stressed that Iran was aware of restrictions on the supply of arms and special hardware and equipment.
“We observe our international obligations strictly. We assumed these obligations in the Security Council and we will follow them,” Rogozin said, adding that there were no secrets in this issue.
“I hope that nothing will complicate our cooperation,” he said and noted that Russia wanted to have friendly relations with Iran.
Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi said Russia and Iran were not engaged in talks on the supply of concrete weapon systems. “We are in negotiations on our lawsuit to the International Court of Arbitration with regard to Russia’s refusal to supply S-300 systems,” Sajjadi said in the autumn of 2013.
In 2007, Moscow and Tehran signed the 800 million U.S. dollar contract for the supply of S-300 systems to Iran. However, its implementation was constantly delayed due to technical reasons and Russia eventually terminated the contract, returning the advance payment of 167 million U.S. dollars to Iran.