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Russia returns S-300 air defense deposit;
Iran demands more cash

NICOSIA — Russia has returned a down payment to Iran for the S-300PMU-1 air defense system.


The Iranian Defense Ministry said Teheran received $167 million relayed to Moscow for five S-300 systems. The ministry, however, has sought compensation for Russia's cancellation of the S-300 contract, valued at $800 million.

"We have received our prepayment from Russia, but we have sent our complaint to the International Court of Arbitration for compensation," Iranian Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi said.

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In remarks on Sept. 28, Vahidi did not say how much Iran was seeking from Russia, Middle East Newsline reported. He said Iran relayed a formal complaint to the arbitration court in early September.

In September 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a halt to the S-300 contract, signed in 2007. Medvedev, citing United Nations sanctions, also blocked the sale of fighter-jets, helicopters, warships and armored vehicles to Teheran.

In its complaint, Iran argued that UN sanctions did not ban defensive weapons. Officials said the arbitration proceedings would last into 2012.

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