Russian President Vladimir Putin is slated to pay a visit to Tehran in August to discuss bilateral ties and mutual cooperation with senior Iranian officials, including construction of the new phase of Bushehr Nuclear Plant and the possible delivery of a substitute for S-300 defense shield, media reports said. “The Russian president will travel to Tehran on August 12,” Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted an informed source in the Russian foreign ministry as saying. “Putin wants to discuss two important issues which are construction of a new phase for the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and replacing S-300 missile system with Antei-2500 missile defense shield delivery,” the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added. The source noted that Putin is also due to discuss the latest developments in the West’s standoff with Iran over the latter’s peaceful nuclear program in his upcoming visit to Iran. The Russian president last month underlined Iran’s inalienable right to peaceful nuclear technology, saying that no evidence has been found so far to show military aspect of Iran’s nuclear program. Last month, Tehran strongly rejected media reports that it has agreed to receive Tor-M1 missile defense system instead of S-300 defense shield from Russia. “The reports released on the replacement of S-300 with Tor missiles by Russia is strongly rejected,” Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said. Iran has filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva, which is currently pending review. Moscow has struggled to have the lawsuit dropped, including by offering the Tor anti-aircraft systems as replacement, media reported earlier this month, adding that the offer was rejected by Tehran. In a recent development, Moscow made a new attempt to dodge the $4bln lawsuit from Tehran by offering another type of air defense system to Iran. The new offer on the table is Antei-2500, AKA S-300VM, or SA-23 Gladiator in NATO nomenclature, the Kommersant Daily said, citing unnamed sources in the Russian arms trade industry. The missile defense system can simultaneously destroy up to 24 aircraft within the range of 200 kilometers or intercept up to 16 ballistic missiles. The Antei-2500, however, may be a better solution. The system does not formally fall under the existing sanctions against Iran while still being useful for the Middle-Eastern country. While the S-300 was developed for the use by missile defense forces, the Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force. Russia is already exporting the Antei-2500, having delivered two missile systems to Venezuela earlier this year. India and Turkey were also named as potential buyers, though no deals were formalized so far, RIA Novosti reported.