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Moscow, Iranian Minister of Defense to Discuss an 8 Billion Dollar Arms Deal - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Moscow, Iranian Minister of Defense to Discuss an 8 Billion Dollar Arms Deal

Moscow, Iranian Minister of Defense to Discuss an 8 Billion Dollar Arms Deal

In the prospect of intensifying military cooperation between Russia and Iran, Hossein Dehghan, Iranian Minister of Defense arrived to Moscow and instigated deliberations with his peer Sergey Shoygu. Dehghan is also expected to later meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moreover, the agreement on Russia delivering the S-300 (missile system) to Iran is in accord on execution, after the deal being previously put to rest, an approximate 10 years, due to the economic and military sanctions that were imposed on Iran.

Dehghan visiting Russia aims to acquire artillery bulk worth a near 8 billion dollars in planes and military equipment. He will also be conferring several regional and international suits, like the Syrian crisis and the relationship with Gulf countries especially Saudi Arabia, Military-Technical Cooperation (MTC) sources reported.

Kommersant, a Russian daily newspaper, published that Tehran has provided Moscow a list on arms and equipment the Iranian army hopes on picking up. The list is the same one discussed with the Russian Ministry of Defense, the government, and kremlin.

Iran also seems to want to get its hands on the advanced anti-aircraft weapon system S-400, the latest upgrade by the Almaz Central Design Bureau. It is the same missile system Russia has dispatched near Turkish borders north of Syrian Lattakia port city, after the downing of the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter-jet near borders on Nov. 24. Iranian administration potentially looks forward to signing a deal on Sukhoi Su-30 advanced fighter-jets made by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, or the regulation of a local production of fighter-jets in Iran under Russian licensing, Interfax reported.

Sources stated that Russian-Iranian consultations also involve the possibility of importing K-300P Bastion-P Russian mobile coastal defense missile system equipped with Yakhont SS-N-26 anti-ship cruise missile. Iran, moreover, is looking into the chances of bringing in Yak-130 subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft, Mil Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters, Russian made frigates, diesel-electric attack submarine, and many other war artillery.

Observers in Moscow criticized Tehran’s requisition for being high on expenses and faced with several obstacles. One of the reasons that could stand in the way of Russia realizing each item on that list or some of them is because of the unavailability Iranian liquid assets that are sufficient to finance the deal through a Moscow-provided loan, which in the meantime makes it seem a far-reach possibility.

One other reason would be the grave crises Russia now bares due to the sanctions imposed on it since the rupture of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. Furthermore, the U.N. Security Council has yet not lifted sanctions on sending weapons and military equipment to Iran, which they have stated to remain imposed and according to resolution until year-2020.

Moscow already made official statements broadcasted by RIA Novosti, Russia’s international news agency, on Russian interest in settling disputes between Saudi Arabia and Iran, especially in a time when the hitch on oil prices must be solved in a conjoined manner. Zamir Kabulov, Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, said that Tehran’s response to the Russian proposal on mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia was positive.

The proposal holds, and Iranian reaction is positive, Kabulov confirmed.

Saudi Arabia has yet not responded to the proposition because of compiled tension and discontent present between the two countries’ relationship, according to Kabulov.

RIA Novosti pointed out that Russian diplomat Kabulov did not confirm questions on the possibility of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei visiting Russia. Controversially he revealed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov might be paying Iran a visit this year, however, the date of the visit is not set. Despite that Iranian Deputy FM Ibrahim Rahim Bour had before said that Lavrov is expected to visit Iran in the first half of 2016.