Iran sees no political obstacles for new supplies of Russian weapons, Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly Alaeddin Boroujerdi told TASS. At the same time, he added that the military was to make decisions on that matter.
“We have been maintaining military cooperation for many years. It [the supply of S-300 systems – TASS] was indeed a key point of our cooperation. The military should make decisions concerning future weapons supplies. From the political standpoint, there are no obstacles,” the senior Iranian lawmaker said, particularly pointing out that Tehran had purchased S-300 missile systems from Russia.
While speaking about defense cooperation between the two countries, he highlighted successful interaction in Syria.
“We had a joint operational headquarters in Damascus, so military officers from the two countries communicated with each other, exchanged views and information,” he said. “I believe that the Syrian events proved to be a culmination of our military cooperation,” Boroujerdi concluded.
Russia and Iran signed a contract on the delivery of S-300 air defense missiles systems to the Islamic Republic in 2007 but its implementation was suspended in 2010. In April 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on the supply of S-300 systems to Iran and in November that year, the contract came into force.
In October 2016, a source in Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said that the delivery of S-300 systems to Iran had been completed.
The S-300 is an anti-aircraft missile system capable of destroying modern and advanced aircraft, including planes using stealth technology, as well as medium-range ballistic missiles, tactical and cruise missiles, radar surveillance and guidance aircraft, reconnaissance and strike complexes.
In March, Iran successfully tested a Russian-made missile defense system. The IRNA news agency said the military launched the sophisticated S-300 system during a recent military exercise named Damavand, named after Iran’s highest mountain. State TV posted videos online of the missiles being launched from the back of trucks in Iran’s central desert.
The air defense system was finally delivered by Russia in February after years of delay. Iran had been trying to acquire the system in response to repeated threats by Israel to bomb its nuclear facilities, but Russia had held off delivery of the 750 million euro ($800 million) project for years, in line with UN sanctions imposed over the nuclear program.
Air defense commander General Farzad Esmaili said the Iranian-made Bavar 373 was even more advanced than the S-300 system just tested. A deal under which Iran limited its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions went into force in 2016, triggering tightened trade ties with Russia. Just 18 months after the deal was signed, Iran tested several missiles despite fresh U.S. sanctions on Iranian interests.