may sell more air defence systems to Iran
Cape Town, Sep 18 (RIA Novosti) Russia is negotiating the
delivery of more air defence systems to Iran despite Western
demands for a halt in sales to Tehran over its refusal to
stop uranium enrichment.
"Contacts between the two countries (on delivery of air
defence systems) are continuing and we do not see any reason
to suspend them," Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport
chief Anatoly Isaikin told reporters Thursday at the Africa
Aerospace and Defence-2008 (AAD-2008) exhibition near Cape
Town in South Africa.
Isaikin said deliveries of Russian anti-aircraft weaponry
to Iran were aimed exclusively at increasing its air defence
capability and were not subject to international restrictions.
Iran recently took delivery of 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air
defence missile systems under a $700-million contract signed
in late 2005. Russia has also trained Iranian Tor-M1 specialists,
including radar operators and crew commanders.
The US and Israel, which say they have kept open the military
option against Iran, were alarmed by media reports, which
started circulating as early as 2005, on the possible delivery
of the state-of-the-art S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.
The advance version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1
(SA-20 Gargoyle), has a range of over 150 km and can intercept
ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes.
The Islamic republic has conducted several high-profile war
games this year, including a three-day of air force and missile
defence exercises to conclude Thursday, while promising swift
retaliation in the event of any act of aggression against
Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security
Council sanctions for refusing demands to halt uranium enrichment,
which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite
Western accusations that the programme is geared toward weapon
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