Russia: Weapons given to Iran are for defense

All Russian weaponry supplied to Iran is purely for defensive purpose, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday, responding to news reports that Moscow was selling more than $1 billion worth of missiles and other defense systems to Tehran. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kaminin did not comment on any specifics of weapons deals, saying in a statement only that they were "exclusively defensive weapons." "All contracts concluded in the military-technical cooperation area fully comply with our international commitments, including in the sphere of nonproliferation, and are in full compliance with Russian law," he said, according to the statement. The statement appeared to be timed to head off the expected heated reaction from the United States following reports in Russian media Friday that Russian and Iranian officials had signed contracts in November that would send up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems to Iran over the next two years. Interfax said the Tor-M1 system could identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 6,100 meters.