Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Russia has announced that it has signed an agreement to deliver a S-300 (ground to air) missile system to Iran, after a similar contract was frozen in 2010 because of UN sanctions against Tehran .
Last April Moscow had already lifted the ban on the sale of the missile system, providing a positive result of the agreement of Lausanne, signed by Iran and major powers in July. The Russian decision has provoked criticism from Israel and the US over concerns for the contract signed before the end of the embargo, but Moscow had said that the missile system is purely defensive and not within the goods under sanctions.
In 2010, after Russia had blocked the sale of S-300, Iran had denounced Moscow to a court of international arbitration in Geneva, seeking $ 4 billion in compensation for a contract worth 800 million dollars.
Russia has said that Iran has promised to cancel the compensation claim if a "first part" of the contract is honored. Sergei Chemezov, director general of Rostec, the state firm producing missiles, said it would offer Iran a "modernized and updated" version of the missile.
Long before the embargo ended, hundreds of European companies, especially German, began to invest in Iran, considered one of the most attractive global markets. Although several US companies have found ways to invest, creeping between the constrictions of US prohibitions.
With 78 million inhabitants and 70% of the population below the age of 30, with a high level of education, Iran has the potential to become a leading country regionally and globally.