Iran eying Russia ties in new atmosphere: Defense Minister

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan signaled a new phase of cooperation with Russia that could put an end to a lingering row over the S-300, an air defense system Moscow has been committed to sell to Tehran.

“We seek formation of kind of interaction with the Russian Federation in new atmosphere,” Dehqan told reporters in Tehran on Sunday when asked about the talks between Iran and Russia over the S-300 system.

Under a contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 defense system batteries. In 2010, then-president Dmitry Medvedev cancelled the contract as he came under strong US and Israeli pressure not to go ahead with the sale of the weapons system, but his pretext was that the sale was covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.

On January 20, defense ministers from Iran and Russia agreed to push for the settlement of the lingering dispute over Russia’s failure to honor its commitments under the sale contract.

The agreement was made in a meeting between Dehqan and his Russian counterpart, General Sergei Shoigu, in Tehran.

“During the Russian defense minister’s visit to Iran, we had cooperation in different sectors and in the military field, we also made some agreements on defense industry, exchange (of knowledge) and technology,” Dehqan told reporters on Sunday.

By Tasnim News Agency