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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Accuses Media of Inflaming S-300 Dispute

RIA Novosti

13:24 14/08/2012

TEHRAN, August 14 (RIA Novosti) - Iran accused the international media on Tuesday of exaggerating tensions between Russia and Iran in order "to damage bilateral relations between the two countries" over a cancelled 2007 contract for Russian-made S-300 air defense missile systems.

Russia's Kommersant daily reported last week, quoting Kremlin sources, that Russia would cease lending diplomatic support to Iran if it continued a legal case against Moscow for damages in a Swiss court over a suspended deal for the S-300 missile systems.

“We support them and take a constructive position in talks on the nuclear issue, and they repay us like this,” a government source told Kommersant.

Western media claimed the tension between the two nations could have a negative consequences for Iran in the continuing negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

"The continuing rubbishing of this question [the S-300 deal] by some media does not correspond with reality. A signed contract exists for this deal between Iran and Russia. We want this deal to come into force and be carried out," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mekhmanparast.

Iran signed the $800 million contract with Russia for five battalions of S-300 PMU1 air defense systems in 2007. However, in 2010 then-President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree terminating the contract, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which bans supply to Iran of conventional weapons including missiles and missile systems, tanks, attack helicopters, warplanes and ships.

Iran’s Defense Ministry and The Aerospace Industries Organization, an Iranian state company, launched a $4 billion lawsuit against Russia’s state arms corporation Rosoboronexport in the international arbitration court in Geneva on April 13, 2011, seven months after Medvedev's order.

The United States, Israel and many Western European countries accuse Iran of maintaining a nuclear weapons development program under guise of a civil atomic project. Iran denies this and maintains its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful. Iran is the subject of a raft of sanctions by the U.S. and European Union.

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