Dispute erupts between Russia, Iran over S-300 missile batteries

A ceremony marking the first transfer of Russian S-300 ground-to-air missile batteries to Iran, which was scheduled to be held Thursday at a Russian naval base in the port city of Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea with the defense ministers of the two countries in attendance, was cancelled at the last minute. A senior official at the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday night that "The beginning of deliveries of the first consignment of Favorit missile systems cannot take place since the Iranian side has not paid the price enshrined in the contract." There is no doubt that it was a very unfriendly statement intended to hurt the Iranians at a time when the Iranian defense minister, Gen. Hossein Dehghan, is visiting Moscow.

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