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Russia says supplying Iran with "defensive" weapons
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08:38, December 23, 2008

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Russia's state arms export company said Monday it has sold "defensive armaments" to Iran, including anti-aircraft missile systems, but it would not confirm reports it was delivering S-300 air defense systems to Tehran.

"Russia is developing military-technical cooperation with Iran in strict compliance with its international commitments deriving from non-proliferation regimes," the company, Rosoboronexport, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying in a statement.

"This cooperation cannot be a source of concern for third countries," the statement said.

Rosoboron export confirmed in the statement that Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems were supplied to Iran previously.

Iranian media reported last week that Iran will soon receive S-300 air defense systems from Russia under a recently reached deal following several years of negotiation.

The S-300s are sophisticated, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems and have a longer range than the Tor-M1 systems.

Israel has urged Russia not to deliver such systems to Iran, alleging Iran wants to develop a military nuclear program and such a deal will not serve the interests of peace in the Middle East. Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes.


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