Iran is to take delivery of the first batch of Russian S-300 air defence system in a special ceremony set for 18 February, state news agency Irna reported, citing the Persian branch of Russian news agency Sputnik.

Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan is understood to be in Russia and will be travelling to Astrakhan, a southern Russian city for the closed-door ceremony.

The delivery marks the resumption of the $800m contract for five S-300 missiles signed between the two countries in 2007, Irna said.

Russia suspended the contract in 2010, for which Iran filed a lawsuit, due to the UN Security Council resolution imposing arms embargo on Tehran until it proves the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

In January, the US Treasury Department sanctioned 11 individuals and companies suspected of aiding Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Iran, however, said the sanctions were illegal and lacked legitimacy because its missile programme is not designed to carry nuclear warheads and does not violate any international regulations or policies.