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Russia Seeks To Calm U.S. Over Iran Arms Sales

3 December 2005 -- Russia says it has signed an arms deal with Iran but stressed that the weapons are for defense.

Russia's "Vedomosti" newspaper reported yesterday that Russia has signed a contract to sell more than $1 billion worth of tactical surface-to-air missiles and other defense hardware to Iran in one of its biggest deals.

The Foreign Ministry on its website confirmed the deal today but added it did not violate any international laws. The statement did not comment on any specifics of the deal.

The U.S. State Department said yesterday that the United States is "evaluating" the reports on the sale.

(with news agencies)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



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