Tag Archive: iran


Russia will be responsible for the consequences caused by its failure to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran, the Islamic Republic’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Tuesday.

In an interview with Fars News Agency he said the delivery of the air-defense systems would not violate Russian or international laws.

Moscow said last week it would freeze the delivery of S-300 systems following a new round of UN sanctions imposed on Tehran June 9.

“Russia has a duty to fulfill its obligations… Implementing the S-300 deal is not against Russian laws or international regulations,” Vahidi said. “It is obvious that [Russia] is responsible for the damages caused by its failure to implement the deal.”

Vahidi also said that Russia would soon announce its official stance on the issue and that Iran would make no further comments until then.

Vahidi said in late April Iran would produce its own missile defense systems similar to Russia’s S-300 system.

A Kremlin source said on June 11 the sale of S-300 air defense systems fall under the new UN Security Council’s sanctions against Tehran, but the Russian foreign minister said it was up to the president to make the final decision.

UN Security Council Resolution 1929 imposes a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, and includes tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo.

Russia initially said the delivery of S-300 systems to Iran would not be affected by the new UN sanctions since they are not included in the UN Register of Conventional Arms.

However, experts from the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation suggested that the S-300 system did come under the new set of sanctions.

Moscow signed a contract on supplying Iran with at least five S-300 systems in December 2005, but delivery has so far been delayed.

The United States and Israel have urged Russia not to deliver the missiles to Tehran.

The S-300 contract is worth some $800 million, while Russian experts estimate the penalty for breach of contract at $400 million.

The advanced version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1, has a range of over 150 kilometers (over 100 miles) and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes, making it effective in warding off air strikes.

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Iran accused the United States of “deception” on Saturday and insisted its missiles are for self-defence only after a top US official charged that the Islamic republic could rain missiles down on Europe.

“The Islamic Republic’s missile capability has been designed and implemented to defend against any military aggression and it does not threaten any nation,” Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in a statement carried by state media.

He was reacting to remarks by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday that US intelligence has shown that Iran could attack Europe with “scores or hundreds” of missiles, prompting major changes to US missile defences.

Washington seeks to “expand its domination over Europe, and to find an excuse not to dismantle its nuclear weapons stationed in the region, while putting the pressure on Russia and surrounding it,” Vahidi said.

“The US seeks to create regional discord and impair (Moscow’s) regional ties to humiliate Russia and weaken its relations with neighbouring countries,” he added, urging Russia not to fall for “US deception and psychological war.”

US President Barack Obama in September cited a mounting danger from Iran’s arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles when he announced an overhaul of American missile defence plans.

The new programme uses sea- and land-based interceptors to protect NATO allies in the region, instead of mainly larger weapons designed to counter long-range missiles.

Gates said the United States believed “that if Iran were actually to launch a missile attack on Europe… it would more likely be a salvo kind of attack, where you would be dealing potentially with scores or even hundreds of missiles.”

Iran is under mounting international pressure over its controversial nuclear programme of uranium enrichment which the West fears masks a covert weapons drive.

The Islamic republic vehemently denies the charge, but has been flexing its military muscle mainly in the strategic Gulf region by staging regular war games and showcasing an array of Iran-manufactured missiles.

The United States and its top regional ally Israel, the sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, have never ruled out a military strike to curb Iran’s atomic drive.

Iran has vowed to deliver a crushing response if it comes under attack.

It has developed more than a dozen short- and medium-range (up to 2,000 kilometres, 1,240 miles) missiles and continues to expand its ballistic missile capability, even launching satellite carriers into space despite UN sanctions.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has estimated that Tehran will have the capability to fire missiles at western Europe by 2014, but that it will need at least a decade to be able to target the United States.

Despite close economic and energy ties with Iran, Russia supported the latest round of sanctions against Iran on June 9 and froze a deal to sell S-300 anti-missile systems to Tehran.

The deal has been in the pipeline for years and was strongly opposed by both Israel and the United States.