Russia announced Monday that it has agreed to move forward with a deal to deliver S-300 missile systems to Iran after Moscow suspended an earlier agreement due to UN sanctions on Tehran.

 

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“The contract between Russia and Iran for delivery of S-300 missile systems is back in force,” the state-run Russian Technologies Corp said in a statement, adding that the two sides had “signed a contract.”

 

In April, Moscow lifted a ban on selling the missile systems to Iran, ahead of Tehran’s agreement in July to a final historic deal with world powers to curb its nuclear program.

 

Russia’s decision sparked condemnation from Israel and concern from Washington, as it came before the lifting of sanctions by the UN Security Council. Russia argues that the missile system is exclusively defensive and does not fall under the purview of the sanctions.

 

Moscow blocked deliveries of the surface-to-air missiles to Tehran in 2010 after the UN Security Council barred high-tech weapons sales to Iran due to its nuclear program.

 

Iran then filed a $4 billion suit at an arbitration court in Geneva over the cancelation of the $800 million order from Russia, which has long been Iran’s principal supplier of ­foreign arms.

 

Moscow says it has now offered Tehran more modern versions of the weapons but has yet to announce publicly when they will be delivered.

 

Russian Technologies said Iran has agreed to drop its legal claims against Moscow once the “first part” of the contract is fulfilled.

 

Russia and Iran are allies in their backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with both sides helping government forces fighting on the ground.

 

Global Times