Russian missiles delivered to Iran: Ivanov
Reuters – January 16, 2007
Russia has delivered new anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran and will consider further requests by Tehran for defensive weapons, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Tuesday.
"We have supplied the modern short-range anti-aircraft systems TOR-M1 in accordance with our contracts," Ivanov told reporters. "Iran is not under sanctions and if it wants to buy defensive ... equipment for its armed forces then why not?"
A defense ministry source later told Reuters deliveries of hardware under the $1 billion deal, which has been criticised by the West, have not yet been completed.
Washington and Israel have criticised the contract to supply the TOR-M1 missiles to Iran, saying Tehran could use them against its neighbors.
Late last year Russia reluctantly joined U.N. sanctions against Iran, which introduced restrictions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology, aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
But Moscow says the sanctions do not apply to the missiles.
The Russian military insists that the missile systems will protect Iran from air attacks, but do not pose a threat to neighboring countries.
Last year Russia dropped the idea of selling longer-range S300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.
However, Washington imposed sanctions against four Russian arms firms for selling weapons to Iran and Syria.
Last updated 16/01/2007