Russia has fulfilled a contract to sell air defense missiles to Iran, Russian news agencies quoted the head of the country's state-run weapons exporter as saying Tuesday. Russia fulfilled its contract obligations and "completed in full the delivery of Tor M-1 missiles to Iran," ITAR-Tass quoted Rosoboronexport chief Sergei Chemezov as saying in Bangalore, India, where he was on a visit along with Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.
Burning Issues #18: Is Russia an ally of Iran?
Defense Ministry officials have previously said Moscow would supply 29 of the sophisticated missile systems to Iran under a US$700 million (â‚¬540 million) contract signed in December 2005, according to Russian media reports.
Ivanov said last week that at least some of the missiles had been sent, the first high-level confirmation that their delivery took place despite US complaints.
At the time, however, a ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject said not all the systems contracted for had been delivered. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.
The United States called on all countries last year to stop all arms exports to Iran, as well as ending all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities. Israel has also severely criticized arms deals with Iran.
Russian officials say that the missiles are purely defensive weapons with a limited range and argue that the Tor-M1 deal, involving conventional weapons, does not violate any international agreements.