Russia hints politics to blame in Iran arms delay

February 24, 2010 18:02


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MOSCOW — Russia's foreign minister suggested Wednesday that a delay in delivering air-defense missiles to Iran was connected with concerns about regional tensions.

Russia signed a contract in 2007 to sell S-300 missiles to Iran, a move that would substantially boost the country's defense capacities. Israel fears the sale would tip the regional power balance.

Russian officials said none of the missiles has been delivered, citing concerns about technical glitches.

However, when asked Wednesday about the delivery, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia never takes "any actions leading to the destabilization of this or that region. All deliveries of Russian weapons abroad follow from the need to strictly respect this principle."

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