Russia, Iran to conclude contract for Antey-2500 delivery - newspaper

Russia is set to sign a contract for the delivery of Antey-2500 air defense systems to Iran after Tehran withdraws its lawsuit filed with the Geneva arbitration court over the refusal of Moscow to deliver another type of air defense systems in 2010, the newspaper Kommersant wrote on Monday.

"As soon as the proceeding is terminated, Russia and Iran will close a new contract for the delivery of the brand new system Antey-2500," the newspaper said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Murtaza Sarmadi told the media on Sunday that Tehran and Moscow were negotiating the withdrawal of the $4 billion claim lodged with the Geneva arbitration court after Russia had refused to supply Iran with five S-300 PMU-1 divisions, the newspaper reported.

Sarmadi reported 'positive results' and said the sides had touched upon the subjects of amendments to the contract, new prices and the claim withdrawal mechanism. Rosoboronexport declined to comment on the Iranian diplomat's statement to the newspaper.

In February 2015 Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov officially confirmed a Kommersant report that Russia had offered to replace S-300 PMU-1 systems with Antey-2500 (a modernized export version of the army system S-300V), which formally did not fall under the embargo.

The newspaper said that Almaz-Antey Concern had stopped building S-300 PMU-1 systems (in contrast to Antey-2500). "No one is going to resume production for the sake of just one contract, no matter how important it may be," the chief executive officer pointed out.

According to the newspaper, the opinion was conveyed to the Iranian servicemen, who gave it a thought and tentatively agreed to accept Antey-2500 deliveries. The wish of Tehran to receive the systems quickly, which is possible only in the case of mass production, played into the hands of Moscow, Kommersant said.

A firm contract for the delivery of five Antey-2500 divisions will make Tehran the third buyer of the system: in 2013 Rosoboronexport sold two S-300VM divisions to Venezuela (the delivery has been accomplished) and signed a similar agreement with Egypt in 2014 (the delivery of two divisions is scheduled to end in 2016)," the newspaper wrote.

Moscow and Tehran concluded a contract for the delivery of five S-300 PMU-1 divisions in 2007. In 2010, following the UN Security Council resolution prohibiting the selling or transfer of heavy armaments to Iran, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev banned the delivery of modern armaments to Iran. The deal was terminated, the upfront payments were repaid to Tehran, and the air defense systems built for Iran were disposed of. Iran filed a claim against Rosoboronexport (the contracting party) to a sum of approximately $4 billion.

Read more: Sheltering skies: 5 of Russia’s most advanced aerial defense systems

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