Russian S-300 missile defense system will not be supplied to Iran in the nearest future, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.
"It is more important that a political and legal decision, which opens up such a possibility, is taken," said deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov, according to TASS news agency.
Russia was to deliver five medium range S-300 missile systems under a 2007 contract. After looking at the progress made in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to lift the embargo on the sale.
The contract was canceled in 2010 and the advance payment returned to Tehran in line with a United Nations Security Council resolution on sanctions against Iran.
US President Barak Obama said on Wednesday that Washington was capable of dealing with the missiles, if it had to.
“Even if they have some air defense systems, if we had to, we could penetrate them,” Obama said.
The United States objects to the upcoming deployment of Russian-made S-300 air defense systems in Iran and has expressed its concern, Obama said in an interview. “But as I said before, we have to keep it in perspective.”