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Iran receives first delivery of Russian air defence missiles

Reports say first S-300 system has arrived in Tehran from Russia, after lifting of sanctions linked to nuclear programme
The S-300 defence system on display in Russia (AFP)

Iran has received its first shipment of a long-delayed order of advanced Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, according to reports.

Video shared on Twitter on Monday apparently showed delivery trucks transporting components for the S-300 missile systems.

Jaberi Ansari, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, was reported by the Mehr news agency as confirming the first delivery.

“We had already announced that despite several changes in the time of delivery, the deal is on its path of implementation and today I should announce that the first part of this equipment has arrived in Iran and delivery of other parts will continue."

Iran struck a deal with Russia in 2007 for the missile systems. The agreement was opposed by Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia who believed Iran would use them to defend its nuclear sites. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delayed the agreement in 2010 due to sanctions and pressure from the US.

However, an international deal struck last year to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for an easing of sanctions has removed the barriers for delivery.

The S-300 system can track multiple targets including jets and missiles, flies at five times the speed of sound and has a range of 400km.

Iran is expected to receive the latest version of the weapons, the S-300V4, a significant improvement on the original ordered by Tehran.