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Iran has not paid Russia in 'frozen' missile deal: report

world Updated: Oct 21, 2009 18:29 IST

Iran has not yet paid Russia in a controversial contract for advanced anti-aircraft missiles, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a Russian government source.

The source said no payments have been made because Russia's government has not given its final approval for the sale of S-300 missiles to Iran, a deal that has raised alarm in the West.

"Despite the fact that the contract was signed several years ago, Russia has still not confirmed its entry into force. Thus Iran has not made any payments under this contract," the unnamed source told Interfax.

"The contract to deliver S-300 systems to Iran was frozen indefinitely due to an array of circumstances practically right after it was signed," he said, adding that a political decision would determine the deal's future.

"Much depends on an array of political circumstances, since this contract has ceased to be simply a commercial deal," he said.

Under the contract, Russia would sell Iran five batteries of S-300PMU1 missiles for a total sum of around $800 million, Interfax reported, citing "unofficial information."

The S-300PMU1, called the SA-20 Gargoyle by NATO, is a mobile land-based system designed to take down aircraft and cruise missiles.

Moscow has never officially confirmed that it signed the contract with Iran but has repeatedly insisted it has the right to sell "defensive" weapons systems to the Islamic Republic.