Moscow: Russia will not supply the
potent S-300 air defence missiles to Iran under a previously
signed contract with Tehran because they are subject to UN
Security Council sanctions on the Islamic republic, a top
general said on Wednesday.
"The decision has been made not to deliver S-300s to
Iran. They are of course covered by the sanctions. The
leadership decided to halt the delivery process. We are
carrying this decision out," Chief of the Russian Defence
General Nikolai Makarov was quoted as saying by Interfax.
Answering to a question whether the contract signed in
December 2005 with Iran will be scrapped, Makarov said: "We
will see - it will depend on Iran`s behaviour."
According to government-run RIA Novosti in late
August, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had said
that a decision on the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran had
not yet been taken by the Kremlin.
S-300 missiles, equivalent of the US Patriot systems,
are capable of thwarting any pre-emptive strike by Israel or
US on Iran`s suspected nuclear weapons development sites.
Under pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv, Moscow
has been delaying the S-300 missile deliveries to Tehran
although local experts believe that the fresh set of sanctions
slapped on Iran by the UN Security Council in June do not
cover the S-300 as it is purely a defencive system.
The S-300 air defence systems are not included in the
UN Register of Conventional Arms covering the ban on supply of
eight broad categories of heavy weapons to Iran like battle
tanks, armoured combat vehicles, heavy artillery systems,
combat aircraft, helicopter gunships, warships, heavy missiles
or missile systems.