Iran remained defiant and Russia said that a proposed arms sale to
Teheran was still alive on Thursday, a day after the UN Security Council
passed its fourth round of sanctions against Iran.
Jerusalem, meanwhile, was watching the events carefully, not
surprised – as one official said – that the Russians had said the
sanctions don’t apply to a proposed sale of the advanced S-300
delivery a serious development’
Moscow on Thursday initially sent out contradictory
messages regarding whether the sanctions – which bar the sale of heavy
weapons such as missiles and missile systems to Iran – would prevent
Moscow from supplying the anti-missile batteries, which would make an
attack on Iran’s nuclear installations from the air that much more
The Interfax news agency, according to
AFP, quoted a source in the Russian body that supervises Russian arms
sales as saying, “Naturally, the contract for the delivery to Teheran of
the S-300 air defense missile systems will be frozen.” The source added
that “it is compulsory to fulfill a decision by the UN Security Council
and Russia is not an exception here.”
the day, however, Israel Radio reported that Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov said that the UN resolution does not apply to air-defense
systems, with the exception of mobile missiles, a statement backed up by
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko.
Russia sold the missile systems to Iran in 2007, but has not yet
delivered the weapons, even though the Iranian officials are reportedly
already being trained on the systems at a base near Moscow.
Moscow has come under a great deal of pressure from the
US and Israel to hold up delivery of the missile systems, and the issue
has long been a bone of contention with the Iranians.
Interfax also reported that Konstantin Kosachev, head of the
foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, said
Thursday that while weapons sales restrictions had been expanded under
the sanctions they did not include the S-300s. “Systems of a defensive
nature like the S-300 are not on this list,” he said.
Israeli officials said that it was clear that the Russians would
not see the sanctions as prohibiting the sale of the missile systems,
and that Moscow was keeping all its options on the matter open.
Lavrov also said Russia was in discussions with Iran on
building additional nuclear energy plants, according to Israel
Radio.Iran to review cooperation with
said Thursday it would review relations with the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) as a result of the sanctions resolution.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the
sanctions as “annoying flies” that were as useless as “used tissues.”
Other officials said Iran would not halt its uranium enrichment.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian
parliament’s powerful National Security and Foreign Policy Committee,
described the sanctions as “political, illegal and illogical” and said
lawmakers would quickly “begin a revision of Iran’s relations” with the
IAEA. He did not say what options were to be discussed but a revision
could result in restricting IAEA inspectors’ access to Iran’s nuclear
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman,
Ramin Mehmanparast, said imposing new sanctions “is not constructive,
and will destroy the grounds for solving the current crisis” with the
Iranian officials said the new sanctions
will do little more than harden the country’s resolve to move ahead with
the nuclear program. Iran says the program is aimed at peaceful uses
while the US and other Western nations strongly suspect it is aimed at
Some Iranian officials took a
more cautious line on ties with the IAEA.
Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, was quoted
by the semiofficial ILNA news agency as saying that the plans for the
reduction of relations with the IAEA “should be examined in detail” and
that Iran would announce its stance “after review and analysis.”
Salehi accused the West of trying to goad Iran, but
said Iran was “patient and we will not react hastily.” He said the
resolution marked a last resort by the West, which would have to accept
Iran’s right to pursue a nuclear program.
television focused its coverage of the Security Council vote on Brazil
and Turkey – the two non-permanent Council members which voted against
sanctions. Iranian TV described those votes as a “defeat” for the US in
its bid to form a consensus in the UN’s most powerful body.
The 70 million Iranians have lived under some sort of
sanctions or restrictions for most of the last three decades. And on the
streets of Teheran Thursday, people took the latest punishment in
Mahsa Rezaei, a 27-year-old computer
science student at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University, said he doubted
the latest round of sanctions would be any more effective than the
“This is something between the
Western countries and the government, not ordinary people,” Rezaei
Billed as the toughest yet against the
government, the sanctions include a freeze on the assets of 40
additional companies and organizations – 15 linked to Iran’s powerful
Revolutionary Guard, 22 involved in nuclear or ballistic missile
activities, and three linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping
Lines. They also add the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of
Iran’s Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center to a list of 40 people now
subject to both an asset freeze and travel ban.
Under the resolution, Iran is now banned from pursuing any activity
related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons,
investing in nuclear-related activities such as uranium mining, and
buying eight categories of heavy weapons, including attack helicopters
and missiles.Iranian FM pelted with eggs in
Ireland, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki narrowly avoided
being hit by eggs pelted toward him during a Dublin appearance
overshadowed by angry clashes with several Iranian dissidents.
Mottaki’s security guards roughed up two protesters who
interrupted his appearance Wednesday at Dublin’s Institute of
International and European Affairs. Both men – who shouted that Mottaki
represented terrorism and dictatorship – were kicked and pushed
downstairs but not seriously injured.
several protesters hurled eggs and kicked at Mottaki’s car as he
departed. Guards shielded Mottaki with an umbrella. Irish police
arrested three protesters.
Mottaki’s visit to Ireland
raised the ire of Israeli officials, who
said the Iranians were trying to show that there was no international
solidarity against their nuclear program. The Irish deflected the
charges, saying that Mottaki was on a private visit to Ireland – he was
invited by an NGO – and that he then asked for a meeting with the
foreign minister, which was granted.
Meanwhile, Israel came under fire at a meeting of the IAEA in Vienna on
Thursday, with Sudanese ambassador Mahmoud El-Amin, speaking for the
Arab states, saying Israel was a “nuclear danger.” And Iranian
ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh charged that Israel’s nuclear
capability was “a serious threat to the health, security and prosperity
of the world, because the Israeli regime refuses to be bound by any
international commitments or moral values.”
The US envoy to the IAEA, Glyn Davies, called Israel’s inclusion on the
agenda of the meeting “untimely and uncalled for.” He said the IAEA
should be dealing with Iran, which – as a signatory to the
Non-Proliferation Treaty – is in violation of its responsibilities to