Russia freezes supply of S-300 missiles to Iran

Hours after UN Security Council imposed fresh tough sanctions against Iran, Russia said it was freezing a contract to deliver S-300 anti-missile system to Tehran.

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2010, 19:05 PM IST

Moscow: Hours after UN Security Council
imposed fresh tough sanctions against Iran, Russia said it was
freezing a contract to deliver S-300 anti-missile system to
Tehran.

"Under the latest sanctions delivery of S-300 missiles
is ruled out," Director of defence think-tank CAST, Ruslan
Pukhov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

The sanctions given the go-ahead by the Security
Council last night target supply of weapons to Iran`s powerful
revolutionary guards, ballistic missiles and nuclear related
investments.

The new resolution also bans Iran from pursuing "any
activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering
nuclear weapons and prohibits the country from buying several
categories of heavy weapons including attack helicopters.

However, the foreign ministry and Duma officials
reiterated that under last night`s sanctions Russia has the
right to deliver `purely defensive` S-300 missiles under the
2005 contract inked with Tehran.

Chief of Duma committee on foreign affairs Konstantin
Kosachev said the sanctions will have bearing on S-300 missile
delivery to Iran.

The S-300 sales is particularly controversial as
Western powers fear Iran would use the sophisticated system to
protect its most sensitive nuclear sites against an aerial
attack.

Though Russia voted for the sanctions, Moscow warned
that it would retaliate if Russian companies or individuals
were targeted for any links with Iran.

Russia has been a supplier of arms to Iran. Russia`s
Foreign Ministry said that it would not tolerate any
restrictions beyond the UN sanctions.

"We cannot ignore signals reaching us about the
intention of some of our partners... to start considering
additional, tougher restrictive measures against Iran than
those provided for under the UN Security Council resolution,"
a statement by the Ministry said.

If sanctions are imposed on Russian companies or
individuals Russia would retaliate, it said, without
elaborating.

PTI