Russia Plans To Sell Surface-To-Air Missiles to Iran, Despite New Sanctions

One day after the United Nations approved a fresh round of sanctions against Iran, Russia maintains it has the right to sell S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the Iranian regime, NPR's David Greene reports.

Since the deal was brokered in 2008, the United States and Israel have opposed it, fearing Iran could use the long-range missiles to defend nuclear sites against attack.

According to Greene, Russian officials "have always been dodgy about whether they'll ever deliver the weapons."

After Russia backed the new resolution, adopted by the United Nations Security Council yesterday, Interfax, the Russian news agency, quoted an unnamed person in the Russian arms industry who said the new sanctions meant the contract to deliver the S-300 missiles was frozen.

Then, within hours, a foreign ministry spokesman said the new sanctions do not cover the particular missile systems; thus, he said, Russia is not required to scrap the deal.



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