Diplomatic source: U.S. questions regarding S-300 sale to Iran by Russia may concern only anti-Iranian sanctions

Washington's sanctions against Russia have no relation to a possible contract selling S-300 air defense systems to Iran, and all questions the U.S. might have regarding it could concern its compliance with the U.S. sanctions regarding the Iranian missile program, a U.S. diplomatic source told Interfax.

Washington's sanctions against Russia have no relation to a possible contract selling S-300 air defense systems to Iran, and all questions the U.S. might have regarding it could concern its compliance with the U.S. sanctions regarding the Iranian missile program, a U.S. diplomatic source told Interfax on Aug. 19.

The U.S. questions regarding the deal could arise only in the context of the sanctions remaining in effect with regard to Iran's missile program, but this potential deal does not go against the U.S. sanctions against Russia, he said.

If the matter concerned Russia's plans to sell S-300s not to Iran but to some other country, Washington would be unlikely to have any questions, he said.

The U.S. Department of state had said on Aug. 18 that Washington was concerned about preparations for the sale of S-300 systems to Iran by Russia.

While the U.S. acknowledges that this possible deal would not contradict UN Security Council resolutions, the U.S. still needs more details regarding the deal to see whether it may fall under the U.S.' sanctions against Iran, it said.

Iranian media quoted Defense Minister Brig. Den. Hossein Dehghan as saying on Aug. 18 that Iran and Russia were planning to sign a contract for S-300s next week.

Moscow and Tehran signed a contract in 2007 for the delivery of five division sets of S-300PMU1 air defense missile systems designed and manufactured by Almaz-Antey Concern; the contract price was around $900 million. As the UN Security Council passed another resolution imposing sanctions on Iran in 2010, the then Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, banned the delivery of S-300 systems to Tehran. The previous contract was declared null and void, and the air defense launchers were dismantled and scrapped to a large extent. Iran appealed against Russia\'s refusal to deliver the systems at the Geneva Arbitration Court. The lawsuit against Rosoboronexport was worth about $4 billion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on April 13, 2015, lifting the ban on S-300 deliveries to Iran.

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