Russian MoD says missile sale to Iran to go ahead

April 24, 2006 22:25


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Russia's defense minister confirmed Monday that his country will go ahead and supply Iran with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, news agencies reported. "Unless there are some circumstances beyond our control, this contract will be honored," Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying by Interfax and RIA Novosti in Beijing, where he was on an official visit. The United States last week called on all countries to stop all arms exports to Iran and to end all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities. But Moscow insisted it would not stop a project to construct a US$800 million (€645 million) nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran. And Nikolai Spassky, the deputy head of the Kremlin Security Council, said Russia would not end military cooperation with Iran, including the commitment to provide the country with Tor-M1 air-defense systems. Russia's Defense Ministry has said Moscow will supply 29 sophisticated Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran under a $700 million (€565 million) contract, according to Russian media reports. Ivanov also defended the Bushehr project, saying it "has nothing to do with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," according to ITAR-Tass.

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