Medvedev bans sale of S-300 missiles to Iran

The ban imposed in compliance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1929 dated June 9, 2010, besides the sale Patriot class S-300 missiles also applies on the deliveries of battle tanks, armoured vehicles, heavy artillery systems, combat aircraft, ships and missiles, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Earlier, Chief of the Russian Defence General Nikolai Makarov was quoted as saying by Interfax, "The decision has been made not to deliver S-300s to Iran. They are of course covered by the sanctions. The leadership decided to halt the delivery process. We are carrying this decision out."

Answering to a question whether the contract signed in December 2005 with Iran will be scrapped, Makarov said: "We will see - it will depend on Iran's behaviour."According to government-run RIA Novosti in late August, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had said that a decision on the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran had not yet been taken by the Kremlin.

S-300 missiles, equivalent of the US Patriot systems, are capable of thwarting any pre-emptive strike by Israel or US on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons development sites.
Under pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv, Moscow has been delaying the S-300 missile deliveries to Tehran although local experts believe that the fresh set of sanctions slapped on Iran by the UN Security Council in June do not cover the S-300 as it is purely a defencive system.

The S-300 air defence systems are not included in the UN Register of Conventional Arms covering the ban on supply of eight broad categories of heavy weapons to Iran like battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, heavy artillery systems, combat aircraft, helicopter gunships, warships, heavy missiles or missile systems.

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