Israel worried about S-300 sale to Iran

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 11:14:55 GMT PRESSTV. Russia's S-300 air defense systemIsrael urges Russia not to supply Iran with advanced S-300 missile defense systems, claiming the arms delivery would put peace at stake. "The deliveries of dangerous armaments to our enemies won't serve the interests of peace," Israeli Defense Ministry official, Major General Amos Gilad, told the Interfax on Friday. Gilad, who is in Moscow, added that such advanced anti-aircraft systems could pose a threat to Israel, demanding that Moscow exercise 'responsibility' on the issue. Earlier in October Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had also traveled to Russia to dissuade Russian President Dmitry Medvedev from selling the S-300 system to Iran. Moscow has delivered 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran, a short range surface-to-air missile system. There is also speculation that Russia will supply Iran with S-300, a long range surface-to-air defense missile system that can intercept and attack intruder planes at great distances. Israel's concerns over Russia's arms sales to Iran come as Alexander Fomin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said Wednesday that military cooperation between Russia and Iran "has a positive influence on stability in this region". "We developed, are developing, and will continue to further develop this cooperation. The security of the region depends on this to a significant degree," Fomin said. RIA Novosti, citing unnamed sources, reported that the Kremlin was fulfilling a contract to sell the S-300 defense system to Iran. According to Fomin, such systems benefit the whole region by preventing new military conflicts. Tehran's arms deal with Moscow comes at a time that Iran is improving its defensive capabilities amid threats against its sovereignty. Israel has threatened Iran with a military strike, arguing that Tehran's nuclear work poses a potential threat to Tel Aviv. Iran rejects the allegations, saying it is only after peaceful nuclear technology. AR/DT

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