Defence Industry

Iran - Russia in Legal Tussle Over S-300 SAM System
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 14 Nov , 2011

In response to Russia’s refusal to supply Iran with S-300 air defence missile systems, the latter has appealed in an international court against the former’s decision. The S-300 contract, worth some $800 million, will cost the Russians a forfeit penalty of approximately $400 million. Iranian ambassador to Russia, Seyed Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi, confirmed in Moscow that his country had indeed filed a suit against Russia with an international court.

S-300Providing a strange twist to the episode, the Iranian ambassador said the decision to file suit against Russia was done with the purpose of “giving Russia a legal trump card” in fulfilling the deliveries.

Iran stated that it believed that the shipment of S-300 is not included in the UN Security Council resolution and added that it had sent a complaint with the aim of securing a court decision that would help Russia carry out these deliveries. The United States and Israel have for long urged Russia not to deliver the missiles to Tehran.

Initially, Russia had said the delivery of the sophisticated surface-to-air missile systems to Iran would not be affected by UN sanctions against Iran since they are not included in the UN Register of Conventional Arms. However, experts from the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) announced last year that the S-300 system falls under the new set of UN sanctions.

In September 2010, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which stated that Moscow would not implement the terms of the agreement on the S-300 systems. The decree came even as Iranian operators of the S-300 system completed their training.

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