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'S-300 missiles to Iran not affected by UN sanctions'

Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems

MOSCOW (PTI): The sale of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran is not affected by the fresh UNSC sanctions against Tehran, a top Foreign Ministry official has said, hours after the powerful world body moved to curb the nuclear ambition of the Islamic republic.

"Insofar as yesterday's resolution on Iran contains references to specific types of weapons, I can say that no anti-aircraft systems, except man-portable air-defence missile complexes, are included in the UN Register of Conventional Arms," Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Thursday.

Earlier quoting experts and officials, Interfax had reported about Moscow winding up all defence cooperation with Iran, including the sale of Patriot class S-300 air defence missiles, which pose a real threat to hostile aircraft in case of preventive Israeli or US strikes.

A top Russian official dealing with foreign defence supplies underscored that Russia's hands are not tied in case of delivery of S-300 missiles.

"Concerning the supply of S-300 missiles to Iran, Russia's hands are is no way tied by the UNSC resolution and the work is underway on the contract," Director of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev was quoted as saying by official news agency ITAR-TASS.

Dmitriyev, who controls arms exports to foreign countries, also denied media reports about winding up defence cooperation with Iran.

"Of course some restrictions are being put in place, but they all are linked to offensive arms. Besides them there are a huge mass of issues on which we will continue to cooperate with Iran," Dmitriyev said.

Though Russia voted for the sanctions, Moscow warned that it would retaliate if Russian companies or individuals were targeted for any links with Iran.

Taking a tough stand, UN Security Council slapped sanctions on Iran over its controversial atomic programme that target the powerful Revolutionary Guards and nuclear-related investments, overruling opposition from Brazil and Turkey.

In the 15-member Council, 12 countries, including the US and Britain, Thursday voted in favour of the resolution imposing financial and military restrictions with Lebanon abstaining and Brazil and Turkey voting against.

The new resolution, which is fourth against Iran to be adopted by the UNSC in four years, imposes sanctions like banning Iran's investment in nuclear activity abroad, banning all ballistic missiles activities, blocking Iran's use of banks abroad and asset freezes for members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


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