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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran 'not hit by UN sanctions'

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Proposed new UN sanctions against Iran will not stop Russia from fulfilling its contract to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to the Islamic Republic, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Friday.

"This draft resolution does not affect existing contracts between Russia and Iran," the head of the upper house's international relations committee, Mikhail Margelov, said.

The so-called Iran Six - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - discussed on Tuesday a draft Security Council resolution expanding sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Observers say however the delivery of Russian S-300s will be prohibited under the draft resolution, which includes a ban on the supply of defensive weapons to Iran.

But Margelov called the draft resolution "balanced" and said the proposed sanctions are not "paralyzing or suffocating."

"We are talking only about those inevitable measures which might be needed if Iran does not play by the IAEA rules," he said.

"Russia is a responsible seller of any of its products on foreign markets and we are not interested in the militarization of the [Middle East] region," Margelov told reporters.

Moscow signed a contract on supplying Iran with at least five S-300 systems in December 2005. However, the contract's implementation by Russia has so far been delayed.

The United States and Israel have called on Russia not to deliver the missiles to Iran.

The West is also concerned by Russia's role in helping Iran to build its first nuclear power plant in Bushehr. The head of the Russian State Atomic Energy corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko, said last week the plant will begin operating by late summer.

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