Russia has offered Iran access to its latest Antey-2500 missiles, after a deal to supply less powerful S-300 missiles was dropped under Western pressure, the head of Russian state defense conglomerate Rostec said on Monday according to media reports.
Sergei Chemezov said Tehran was now considering the offer, TASS news agency reported. Russia scrapped a contract to supply Iran with S-300 surface-to-air missiles under Western pressure in 2010, and Iran later filed a $4-billion international arbitration suit against Russia in Geneva, but the two countries remain allies.
The United States and Israel lobbied Russia to block the missile sale, saying it could be used to shield Iran’s nuclear facilities from possible future air strikes. There was no immediate response to Chemezov’s comments from Iran, Israel or the United States.
“As far as Iran is concerned, we offered Antey-2500 instead of S-300. They are thinking. No decision has been made yet,” Chemezov was quoted as saying. Rostec includes state-owned arms exporting monopoly Rosoboronexport, which has the sole right to export and import arms in Russia.