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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Russia 'obligated' to deliver S-300, says Iran
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says Moscow has a ""contractual obligation"" to deliver the advanced S-300 air defense system to Tehran.
""We have made a deal with the Kremlin to buy S-300 defense missiles,"" said Vahidi in a Wednesday interview with ILNA news agency.
""We don't think Russian officials would want to be seen in the world as contract violators,"" he added.
Vahidi urged Moscow to keep its side of the bargain with regards to the missile system's delivery, regardless of strong Israeli pressure to quash the deal.
In response to Israel's war rhetoric against Iran, Tehran has decided to acquire the sophisticated S-300, a mobile land-based system designed to shoot down aircrafts and cruise missiles.
Codenamed 'the SA-20 Gargoyle' by NATO, the system would make Iranian nuclear sites 'invincible' in the face of an Israeli attack, Western analysts say.
With that in mind, the Israeli leadership is making ""every effort"" to stop Iran from acquiring the S-300 defense system.
""The S-300 is a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system that is very advanced, with long ranges and many capabilities,"" Israeli Air Force (IAF) commander, Major General Ido Nehushtan said in September.
""We need to make every effort to stop this system from getting to places where the IAF needs to operate or may need to operate in the future,"" he added.
Israel has on numerous occasions threatened to bomb Iran's nuclear sites, arguing that the country's enrichment activities are an existential threat to Tel Aviv, which ironically is reported to have an arsenal of 200 nuclear warheads at its disposal.
This is while Tehran says its enrichment program is purely peaceful and unlike Tel Aviv, has allowed regular inspections of its nuclear installations.
Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation said in October that Moscow has the right to ons systems and would therefore fulfill its commitment according to its ""international obligations."" (Source: Press TV)