Russia moves to scrap air-defence system sale to IranJune 11th, 2010 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, June 11 (DPA) Russia said Friday it has moved to scrap the sale of a powerful air-defence system to Iran following a UN Security Council resolution that strengthened sanctions on the Islamic state over its nuclear activities.
President Dmitry Medvedev was drawing up an edict containing a list of all weapons whose export to Tehran would be forbidden, the news agency Interfax reported. The new decision comes a day after the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday’s UN resolution would have “no influence” on the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Tehran.
Russia and Iran reached a deal for the purchase years ago, but Moscow did not follow through on the delivery largely because of pressure from the United States and Israel.
The US State Department acknowledged that the UN resolution does not explicitly ban the S-300 system, but said it called on countries to “exercise vigilance” in any arms- or military-related materials to Iran.
“We appreciate Russia’s restraint in the transfer of the S-300 missile system to Iran,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
The UN Security Council Wednesday voted 12-2 to impose further sanctions on Iran for its refusal to comply with international demands on its nuclear programme. Western nations and other countries accuse of Iran of aspiring to having nuclear weapons. Iran insists the programme is solely for peaceful purposes.
Russia was among the countries who voted for the resolution, which banned the sale of heavy weapon systems like tanks and helicopters.
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