Saturday, May 27, 2006

Russia to honour Iran arms deal


Iran's military plans are a matter of concern to Washington
Russia's defence minister has confirmed that Moscow intends to honour a controversial deal to supply Iran with surface-to-air missiles.

The contract for up to 30 missile systems would be fulfilled except in "extraordinary circumstances", Sergei Ivanov said, without elaborating.

He stressed that, because of their technical characteristics, the missiles could not be used by terrorist groups.

The $700m (£380m) deal, signed last year, has been condemned by the US.

Washington wants all countries to stop exporting weapons to Iran. Russia insists its short-range Tor-M1 system is purely defensive.

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