World News

Russia says not selling missile system to Iran

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has not supplied Iran its advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, an official in Russia’s state arms export service was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

“Nothing is happening. There are no deliveries,” Interfax news agency quoted Alexander Fomin, first deputy director of Russia’s Federal Military and Technical Cooperation Service, as saying at an arms fair in Rio de Janeiro.

Any possible sale of the S-300 systems to Iran is a sensitive issue in Moscow’s relations with the United States and Israel has urged the Kremlin not to supply Tehran with the weapons.

Senior officials have repeatedly denied media speculation that Russia would sell Iran the systems.

Russia has never publicly confirmed the existence of a contract to supply the missile systems to Tehran though Russian media have said a deal was signed several years ago.

Last week Israel agreed to supply three surveillance drones worth $50 million to Russia, in a move Israeli media said was conditioned on Russia not selling Iran the S-300.

Israeli defence sources later said Russia had only given vague assurances on the matter.

The truck-mounted S-300PMU1, known in the West as the SA-20, can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft. It can fire at targets up to 150 km (90 miles) away and can travel at more than 2 km per second, according to Russian media.

Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman