Tasnim News Agency — Oct 20, 2013
A senior Iranian commander said Tehran and Moscow have decided to exchange expertise and know-how in the field of air defense systems.
His remarks came after a Sunday meeting with Commander of the Russian Federation Air Force Major General Viktor Bondarev in Tehran.
Brigadier General Esmaili also pointed to the main topics of discussion in his morning meeting with the Russian commander, and said, “Other topics in the meeting revolved around aerial technical issues, air defense, eavesdropping systems, radar systems and missile systems.”
Asked about whether there has been any talk of S-300 missile system in the meeting, the Iranian commander said the two countries’ defense ministries are to deal with that case.
He, however, made it clear that Iran’s air defense forces do not rely on the Russian missile systems, noting that Iran could import S-300 system or similar ones once the political disputes are over.
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.
Later, Iran lodged a $4 billion lawsuit at an international court in Geneva against Russia’s arms export agency which is now pending review. Some sources say Russia has agreed to provide Iran with a modified export version of the S-300 systems called S-300VM Antey-2500 if the country withdrew its lawsuit.
Iran’s air defense decided to produce Bavar-373 missile defense system after Russia’s refusal to sell S-300 systems to the country.
Late last month, Iran put on display the mobile version of its S-200 air defense system during military parades in Tehran. S-200 is a long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile system designed in the 1960s to defend large areas from bomber attack or other strategic aircraft. Each battalion has 6 single-rail missile launchers for the 10.72 m (35 ft) long missiles and a fire control radar. It can be linked to other, longer-range radar systems.