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MOSCOW, August 20 /TASS/. The supply of Russia’s S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran is a commercial and long-decided issue that should not bother Washington as these complexes are purely defensive, Deputy Director of the Institute for the US and Canadian Studies, Maj.-Gen. Pavel Zolotaryov told TASS on Thursday.
The expert commented on a statement by US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby who said the United States was against the sale of S-300 missile systems to Iran.
The $900 million contract on the delivery of S-300 missile systems to Iran was signed in 2007. In June 2010, the UN Security Council imposed restrictions on the sale of conventional armaments to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia suspended the deal. In April this year, Russia lifted its moratorium after the successful conclusion of talks between Iran and the world six powers on Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
The contract on the delivery of S-300 missile complexes to Iran may be re-concluded next week and Tehran may get four S-300s until the end of the year.
"Washington was convincing Moscow that the missile defense shield being deployed in Eastern Europe was not aimed against Russia and was intended to contain the Iran threat. We’re responding with the same argument: Russia’s intention to supply S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran is not aimed against any Middle East state, including Israel as the US ally," the expert said.
"On the contrary, such weapons held by Iran will strengthen security because this is a factor of containment for those who intended in their time to solve the problem of the Iran nuclear program and chemical weapons in Syria by a military method," Zolotaryov said.
"If Muammar Gaddafi had had air defense systems, this would have prevented US and NATO air strikes against Libya in 2011, as a result of which the country has been in chaos since then and dozens of thousands of refugees are storming the EU borders," the expert said.
"Tehran’s desire to have air defense missile systems is justified: this will cool off those who are eager to use force to accelerate the implementation of the comprehensive agreement on Iran reached in Vienna with Russia’s key role," he added.
"Although Russia has met the US halfway: after the 2001 terrorist attacks, supplying intelligence information to Washington on Afghanistan, and with regard to the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, which helped Washington avoid being drawn in a new war, everything has been forgotten," Zolotaryov said.
"The US has no intention to take Russia’s interests into account either with regard to the Ukraine events or with regard to the Middle East. The US seeks to weaken Russia by all methods. As former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger admitted, Russia’s destruction instead of its integration into the western community has become the US goal. That is why, whatever steps Russia may take in foreign policy, they will be confronted with Washington’s resistance all the time," the expert said.
‘The UN Security Council resolution on sanctions against Iran did not stipulate a ban on the deliveries of specifically S-300 air defense missile systems, which is also admitted by the US Department of State. This was the US unilateral decision and Russia stands against unilateral sanctions," Zolotaryov said.
"Moscow does not intend to incur reputational costs like France did. Russia needs to fulfil its obligations as a reliable trade partner," the expert said.
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