Minister dismisses Israel’s ability to hamper Iran-Russia ties

April 26, 2009

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar stressed that Israel is unable to harm relations between Iran and Russia, underlining Tehran’s deep ties with Moscow.

“Our relations with Russia are deeper and broader than what Israel seeks to hamper,” Najjar told FNA on Friday, reminding the Zionist regime of Israel’s attempts to undermine Iran-Russian relations, and military cooperation in particular.
“We have mutual cooperation with Russians in deferent fields. They have made a significant investment in the Bushehr power plant and other industries in Iran,” Najjar reiterated.
Iran’s southern nuclear power plant located in Bushehr was pre-launched in February in the presence of the Head of Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, Sergei Kiriyenko. The facility was tested by virtual fuel.
“Iran and Russia are two neighboring countries that share water borders in the Caspian Sea; they have shared strategic interests in the fields of security, politics, economy and diplomacy,” Najjar added.
The Iranian defense minister visited Moscow in February and held talks with Russian officials. His visit was interpreted by the media as Iran’s persistence in acquiring the sophisticated S-300 system.
In recent months, Israel has sought to pressure the Kremlin to halt the delivery of the S-300 system, which according to Western experts could effectively rule out the possibility of any Israeli strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities until Tel Aviv acquires the advance U.S. fighter jet, F-22.
Elsewhere, the Iranian defense minister called on the U.S. to take positive steps towards normalization of ties with Iran, adding that Tehran welcomes normalizing ties with “all countries in the world”.
The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.
Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama offered Tehran a ‘new beginning’ to turn back the tide on three decades of animosity.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview with the Swiss TV channels TV5 and TVS1 last week that “we welcome relations (with the U.S.) based on respect and justice and we support logical dialogue”, stressing that Iran has no problem with the American people.
Reminding the letter he had sent to former U.S. President George Bush, Ahmadinejad said, “It was the U.S. that unilaterally severed ties with Iran 29 years ago. Nevertheless, I sent a message to Mr. Bush and invited him to have a debate at the UN (headquarters).”
“I have also sent a message to Mr. Obama, but I have not received any response yet,” the Iranian president added.