Tehran to sue Russia over breached S-300 contract

Russia refuses to deliver air defense systems in light of western sanctions prohibiting military, economic cooperation with Iran.

August 25, 2011 15:36
1 minute read.
Iranian anti-aircraft missile testing.

iranian anti-aircraft missile_311 reuters. (photo credit: Stringer Iran / Reuters)


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Iranian ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi announced on Thursday that Iran has filed a lawsuit against Moscow at the International Court of Justice for failing to deliver the S-300 air defense system to Iran, the Iranian semiofficial news agency Fars News reported.

Tehran and Moscow signed a contract in 2007 that guaranteed the delivery of “at least five” S-300 air defense systems, according to the report.

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Russia and Iran claimed that UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which enforced economic sanctions of Tehran, did not apply to the S-300 system because it was not listed specifically in the text. The resolution, passed on June 9 of last year, imposes sanctions on Iran for harboring a secret nuclear weapons program and for failing to comply with requests by the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect nuclear facilities. It prohibits economic and military cooperation with the Islamic Republic, thereby prohibiting the sale and delivery of the weapons system.

“The S-300 missile is not in contradiction with any international commitments of the two sides [Iran and Russia] and the issue is clearly emphasized in the deal, on the other hand the date of delivery of the missile system was two years before the adoption of the UN Security Council recent resolution against Iran,” Iranian Minister of Defense Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Vahidi told Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency in October 2010.

Although Russia originally assured Iran that it would deliver the system, considerable Western pressure eventually convinced Moscow to cancel the deal.

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