"I accompanied the chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission (Alaeddin Boroujerdi) in a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Russia and discussed the substitute system for the S-300,” Chairman of the parliament’s Defense Committee Esmayeel Kosari told FNA today.
"A team from the defense ministry has left (for Russia) and another team is due to travel there again to discuss the issue,” he added.
Kosari underlined that when the time is ripe for the endorsement of a contract to buy a substitute for the S-300 defense shield from Russia, the Iranian parliament will also send its representatives to the talks to become informed of the process.
In 2007, Iran signed a contract worth $800mln to buy five Russian S-300 missile defense systems.
But the deal was scrapped in 2010 by then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was unilaterally expanding on sanctions against Iran imposed by the UN Security Council.
Iran filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva, which is currently pending review.
Moscow has struggled to have the lawsuit dropped, including by offering the Tor anti-aircraft systems as replacement, media reported in December, adding that the offer was rejected by Tehran.
The Antei-2500, however, may be a better solution. The system does not formally fall under the existing sanctions against Iran while still being useful for the Middle-Eastern country.
While the S-300 was developed for the use by missile defense forces, the Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force.
The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles
The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, designed for the air defense of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases, and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.