Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Russia to sell air defense systems to Iran

Russia will implement the contract to supply Tor-M1 air defense systems to Iran in full, Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and First Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Baluyevsky said here on Wednesday.

Baluyevsky made the statement after his talks with James Johns, Supreme Commander of the United States and NATO forces in Europe.

"I'm sure this equipment is not strategic, but it is obvious that it will be delivered in accordance with Russia's international commitments in the nonproliferation sphere and under control by the appropriate bodies. I'm simply sure of it," Baluyevsky was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

Up to 30 Tor-M1 complexes are planned to be supplied to Tehran which will defend the key state and military facilities, foremost nuclear facilities in Isfahan, Bushehr, Tehran and in the east of the country.

The contract, worth 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, is the biggest arms deal Iran and Russia has ever concluded.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov officially confirmed the fact of concluding the contract on December 5, 2005.

Ivanov noted that the contract "is implemented in strictest conformity with the Russian legislation and Russia's international commitments."

Tor-M1 is an all-weather air defense system intended for fulfilling air defense tasks at the battalion unit level. It ensures effective protection from cruise missiles, guided bombs, warplanes, helicopters, and pilotless and remotely controlled attack aircraft. READ MORE