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    Russia denies reports of plans to sell missiles to Iran

    AFP
    09 Ekim 2008 - 13:59Son Güncelleme : 09 Ekim 2008 - 16:37

    Russia on Thursday denied reports it plans to sell S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, a move that could complicate an attack on that country's nuclear infrastructure.

    "We have repeatedly said at the highest political level that we do not plan to deliver such types of weapons to countries in... unstable regions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said when asked about the reports.

     

    "This corresponds neither to the political interests of our country nor to the interests of preserving stability in such regions of the world," he added.

     

    The comments came two days after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Russia in a bid to urge Moscow to stop possible arms sales to arch-foes Iran and Syria.

     

    Russia has in recent months repeatedly blocked Western calls for tougher action on Iran’s nuclear program, but President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday assured Olmert that Moscow wants to play a "constructive role" in the region.

     

    Ahead of the visit, Israeli media reported the Jewish state was worried by the possible sale to Tehran of S-300s, sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles that could be used to foil airstrikes against Iranian nuclear sites.

     

    Hawks in the governments of both Israel and the United States have floated the idea of air strikes on Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

     

    On Monday a spokesman for Russian state arms-export monopoly Rosoboronexport said the firm had "no information" about sales of S-300s to either Iran or Syria.

     

    Photo: Hurriyet archives

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