Our Bureau
12:02 PM, January 20, 2015

Iran and Russia signed a  defense and military cooperation agreement today but left out the contentious issue of S-300 missile delivery to Tehran.

The agreement was signed by Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Tehran after two day negotiations between the two sides.

“A great step in consolidating these relations [between Russia and Iran] was today’s signing of an intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation. A theoretic base of cooperation in the military sphere has been created,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said after signing the agreement with Iranian Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Minister Hossein Dehghan in the country’s capital of Tehran.

Shoigu added that during negotiations, an agreement was reached on “bilateral cooperation in practical regards and to promote an increase in the military capabilities of the armed forces of our countries.”

"The deal stressed the need for strengthening and promoting the level of bilateral military and defense cooperation with regard to the common interests of both Tehran and Moscow", Iran news agency PressTV said.

In September 2010, Russia frooze an $800-million deal to deliver five S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran following UN sanctions banning arms exports to Tehran. Iran in turn filed a $4-billion lawsuit with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva against Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

With Russia too facing US and European sanctions over Crimea, Moscow has threatened to walk out of the strategic arms limitations treaty with the US and may resume arms exports to Iran.

In May 2014, the Iranian defense minister paid an official visit to Russia to take part in an international security conference.

In January 2013, Tehran and Moscow signed an MoU to increase security cooperation between the two countries.

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