Russia pledges military cooperation with Iran


Press Tv

Russia says it has no plan to restrict its military cooperation with Iran, stressing that Moscow would not allow “competitors a chance to take advantage of the situation”.

The announcement came one day after a source, quoted by Interfax news agency, claimed that the Russian government had not received any payments as it had not given its final approval for the sale of the S-300 missiles to Iran yet.

However, Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation said in a statement that Moscow would fulfill its commitment according to its ‘international obligations’.

“The Russian Federation implements and plans to further implement the military-technical cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran in strict accordance with existing legislation and its international obligations,” AFP quoting the service as saying.

The source told the Russian news agency “the contract to deliver S-300 systems to Iran was frozen indefinitely due to an array of circumstances practically right after it was signed”.

Moscow signed a contract with Tehran in 2007 to supply the powerful S-300 missiles to Iran.

The S-300 surface-to-air system, known as the SA-20 in the West, can track targets and fire at aircraft 120 kilometers (75 miles) away. It also features high jamming immunity and is capable of simultaneously engaging up to 100 targets.

Israeli and US officials have strongly urged Russia not to supply Iran with the missiles as they allege Tehran has military objectives in its nuclear enrichment program.

Tehran, however, says the only aim of its nuclear program is the civilian applications of the technology. Iran says that it has no use for such weapons as it considers them ‘obsolete.’

Thursday’s statement said that Russia does not want to become an unreliable partner for Iran.

“We can’t give comments regarding concrete plans or obligations with regards to existing contracts as it would mean becoming an unreliable partner (and) give potential competitors a chance to take advantage of the situation,” the military service concluded.

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