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MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has told Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper Monday that he totally disagrees with the opinion that Russia’s decision to supply S-300 missiles systems to Iran was a political mistake.
"Supplying S-300 to Iran was never banned - neither by UN Security Council nor by unilateral sanctions from Americans or Europeans," Lavrov said. "Suspending this contract by Russia was in fact initiated by us in response to a request of our Western partners, who said that this step would work in favor of Iran taking a more constructive stance at talks," he added.
"Since then, enough time has passed, and the considerable quality shift in the positive direction, in general, breakthrough agreements reached in Lausanne, in our view, deserve for us to encourage Iran [to expand] further cooperation. Now, [we do it] not by the means of suspending the contract for S-300 delivery, but on the contrary, by lifting our unilateral restrictive measures and by shifting to fulfilling this contract," Lavrov noted.
"From the point of view of the regional security, these S-300 systems do not threaten anybody. They do not create problems for anybody, unless, of course, someone wants to attack Iran," Lavrov said. The fact that "such incidents are possible could be witnessed just recently, including in Yemen," the minister added. "That is why defense systems that prevent risks and reduce temptations to resort to military strikes, are in line with our position which for many years supported the idea of creating the system of regional security in the Persian Gulf, with participation of all Arab countries and with Iran’s participation as well," Lavrov said.
"I absolutely disagree with those who say that supplying S-300 to Iran was a political mistake," the foreign minister stressed.
"The world’s reaction which followed after our decision to resume fulfillment of the contract with Iran was not alarmist. It was mostly balanced, objective and reflected the understanding by prominent analysts that this step is justifiable and even inevitable," the minister added.