The delivery of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran will take place ‘quite’ soon, Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday.
"The negotiations on the subject have ended in success. I estimate that the S-300 delivery will take place in quite a short time," Amir-Abdollahian said in Moscow.
"It will be done at the soonest opportunity possible," he added after meeting his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov.
The Russian counterpart has not yet confirmed the announcement but noted the importance of maintaining a regular Russian-Iranian dialogue in a statement Monday according to AFP reports.
Tehran had previously asserted that the missiles would be delivered by the end of the year.
In 2007, Iran signed a contract worth $800 million to buy five Russian S300 missile defense systems. But the deal was scrapped in 2010 by the then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was unilaterally expanding on sanctions against Iran imposed by the UN Security Council.
Iran filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva, which is currently pending review. Moscow has struggled to have the lawsuit dropped, including by offering the Tor anti-aircraft systems as replacement, media reported in August, adding that the offer was rejected by Tehran.
While the S-300 was developed for the use by missile defense forces, the Tor Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force. Later, Iran rejected the offer, stressing that it would not change its order.
The Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and Russian defense minister General Sergei Shoigu had signed an agreement in January this year to resolve problems which have prevented the delivery of Russia's S-300 air defense systems to Iran.
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. A decree signed by Putin will lift the ban on the S-300 shipment from Russia to Tehran, Kremlin had said.
The sale sparked strong condemnation from Israel and triggered concern in Washington.