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Israeli premier voices concern over Russian S-300 missile system supplies to Iran

April 19, 2015, 15:38 UTC+3 TEL AVIV
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TEL AVIV, April 19. /TASS/. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he was concerned over Russia’s decision to supply S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran.

"Israel views with utmost gravity the supply of S-300 missile systems from Russia to Iran, especially at a time when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region [the Middle East] and around the borders of the state of Israel," Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.

Israel is also concerned over the fact that "there is no reference to this aggression in the agreement being made between the major powers [five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany] and Iran," the Israeli premier said.

"There is no stipulation that this aggression be halted, whether at the start of the agreement or as a condition for the lifting of sanctions," Netanyahu said.

Israel will do "whatever is necessary to defend the security of the state and its citizens," the Israeli premier said.

After a regular round of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, in early April, the six world powers stated that considerable progress had been made at the negotiations on Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on April 13, lifting the embargo on the delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran. The document came into force on the day it was signed.

Russia made a decision on suspending the contract on the delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran in September 2010 as part of the consolidated efforts by the world six powers seeking to maximally secure a constructive process of talks on Iran’s controversial nuclear research program.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after Putin’s April 13 decision on S-300 supplies that progress on Iran’s nuclear program had made it possible to lift the embargo on delivering air defense systems to Iran.

Putin held a telephone talk with Netanyahu on April 14, in which he explained the logic of the Russian leadership’s decision to lift the embargo on S-300 supplies to Iran.

As the Kremlin press office reported, the Israeli prime minister called the Russian leader to express "his concern over the lifting of the embargo."

"Putin explained in detail the rationale of the Russian leadership’s actions, emphasizing, in particular, that the S-300 system is purely defensive by its characteristics and does not threaten the security of Israel or other countries of the Middle East region," the Kremlin press office said.

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