Middle East

Russia to reportedly renew offer to supply air defense missile systems to Iran

Russian President Vladimir Putin will reportedly offer to supply Iran air defense missile systems and to build a second reactor at the Bushehr nuclear plant.

Putin will renew an earlier offer to supply Iran with five S-300 ground-to-air missile systems during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Friday, according to AFP, citing the Kommersant newspaper. Putin, a source close to the Kremlin said, will meet Rowhani at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgystan.

 In 2007, Russia signed a contract to deliver five of the systems, which can destroy aircraft or guided missiles, to Iran for $800 million. Three years later, then-president Dmitry Medvedev cancelled the contract following intense pressure from U.S. and Israeli officials, leading to intense protests in Tehran.

Russia’s offer is dependent upon Iran’s withdrawing a $4 billion lawsuit filed at an international court in Geneva against Russia’s arms export agency, the source told the newspaper. Putin is expected to offer to supply Iran with a modified version of the S-300 systems called S-300VM Antey-2500.

The deal was not "particularly profitable from an economic point of view, but was rather political,” the source said.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, confirmed to Kommersant that Putin and Rowhani were expected to discuss "working together in the nuclear energy sphere" and "questions of military technical cooperation" during the meeting.

Russia has urged the West to soften sanctions against Iran following the election of Rowhani, a centrist cleric, in June, AFP reports.

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