Russia - Iran

Russia formally bans arms supply to Iran

Photo: Reuters

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on Wednesday banning supplies of S-300 missiles and other arms to Iran, including tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, ships and missile systems.


The decree had been in the pipeline for some years and comes three months after new UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear drive.

In June Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told French President Nicolas Sarkozy Moscow would not sell missiles to Iran.

The Kremlin made the formal decision public on its website after the chief of the general staff Nikolai Makarov also confirmed Moscow had dropped plans to supply weapons to Tehran.

Makarov did not confirm whether the missile contract itself would be cancelled permanently however, saying "We will see, this will depend on Iran's behaviour”.

Russia's firmer stance on Iran has coincided with a warming of its relations with the United States. Washington has repeatedly praised Moscow for its support in the nuclear crisis.

There has been speculation that Israel may attempt to bomb Iranian facilities to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Possession of S-300 systems would enhance Iran's defence of its nuclear facilities against air attack.

Iran denies seeking such weapons however and insists its programme is purely civilian.

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