Monday, February 15, 2010
Russia commits to deliver S-300 system to Iran
The Kremlin's powerful Security Council says Moscow sees no reason to delay the sale of its S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Tehran.
"There is the signed contract that we must fulfill, but supplies have not started yet. This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because these are merely defensive weapons," Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Vladimir Nazarov told the Interfax news agency on Sunday.
"Any of our actions must facilitate global and regional stability, respect for international law and international commitments, including under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that is another matter," he added.
The possible sale of Russian air defense hardware to the Islamic Republic is a major irritant for Israel and its close ally the United States. Both have pressed Moscow not to go ahead with a deal that may help protect Iran's nuclear facilities from threats.
"Russia received and continues to receive many requests and even demands to supply or not to supply weapons. Those countries that are addressing such calls to us should better look at their own deals with Georgia," Nazarov noted.
Nazarov also said a military strike on Iran would be a big mistake and the problems linked to Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through diplomacy.
"Any military action against Iran will explode the situation, will have extremely negative consequences for the entire world, including for Russia, which is a neighbor of Iran," he warned.
Despite Iran's full cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog and the transparency of its nuclear program, the United States and its allies accuse the Islamic Republic of covertly seeking to produce nuclear weapons.
However, Iran denies the claims and insists its nuclear activities are only conducted for civilian applications of the technology and generating electricity in order to meet its soaring energy demands.