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Russia Begins Delivery of Surface-to-air Missiles to Iran


FILE - Russia's sophisticated S-300 missile system is seen on display at the MAKS Air Show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, Aug. 27, 2013.

FILE - Russia's sophisticated S-300 missile system is seen on display at the MAKS Air Show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, Aug. 27, 2013.

In a deal that would have been barred prior to last year’s nuclear agreement, Russia has begun delivering advanced surface-to-air missiles to Iran, according to state media reports.

Mehr news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari as saying, "Iran had already announced that despite several times of change in time of delivery the deal is on its path of implementation" and "the first phase of the agreement is implemented and the process will continue."

This isn’t the first time Russia has tried to sell S-300 missiles to Iran.

Russia’s initial attempt, in 2007, was canceled because of pressure from Israel and the United States, whose leaders were concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

In the spring of 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an end to the deal’s suspension, and signed a new deal with Iran in November.

Iran will receive an upgraded version of the S-300 missile system under the new deal, which is expected for be fulfilled by the middle of this year.

The S-300 surface-to-air system is one of the most advanced in the world. It can fire several missiles at a time, at various targets up to 150 kilometers away.

The S-300 was first developed in 1979 – during the height of the Cold War – but since then has been upgraded multiple times.

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