A top Iranian commander has criticized Russia for its procrastination over delivery to Iran of the sophisticated anti-aircraft system known as S-300.
Chief of Staff of Iran's Joint Armed Forces Hassan Firouzabadi said Tehran was upset about Moscow's failure to supply Iran with the S-300 surface-to-air missile system.
Firouzabadi, who is also a member of the Supreme National Security Council, warned that Moscow's hesitance to deliver the system to Tehran could harm their security as Russia's security was tied to Iran's.
"Don't Russian strategists realize Iran's geopolitical importance to their security?" the top commander asked.
Firouzabadi questioned Moscow's motivation for the delay, adding that under a contract signed between the two countries, the Russian government was expected to supply Iran with the system aimed at boosting the country's defensive capabilities.
"The delivery is more than six months overdue," the top general said, urging Russia to expedite the process of delivery.
Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Wednesday that Russia had a 'contractual obligation' to provide Iran with the system.
"We have made a deal with the Kremlin to buy S-300 defense missiles," he said, referring to a contract signed between Tehran and Moscow in 2007.
"We don't think Russian officials would want to be seen in the world as contract violators," he added.
In reaction to Israeli war rhetoric and to advance its defense system, Iran has been trying to obtain the sophisticated defense system.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to halt Iran's nuclear program through military means.
According to Western experts, the S-300 missile defense system would shield Iranian nuclear sites against any Israeli airstrike.
The S-300 system, which can track targets and fire at aircraft 120 km (75 miles) away, features high jamming immunity and is able to simultaneously engage up to 100 targets.
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