Iran will “not necessarily” order the S-300VM Antey-2500 air defence system, Russia’s Interfax-AVN news agency cited a “high-ranking source in military-technological co-operation” as saying on 23 June.
Iran ordered S-300 long-range air defence systems in 2007, but the contract was cancelled in 2010 after the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the Islamic Republic. President Vladimir Putin reversed this decision in April, saying the move was a reward for Tehran making progress in its negotiations with the international community regarding its nuclear programme.
There was widespread presumption among Russian analysts that Iran would have to accept the S-300VM because the S-300PMU-1 that it originally ordered is no longer produced by Almaz-Antey.
S-300VM systems are currently being made for Egypt, which is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s main regional rival, so Tehran might consider it to have been compromised and consequently a less attractive option than systems from the very different S-300PMU series.