Russia has begun deliveries of the Tor-M1 air defence rocket system to Iran, Russian news agencies quoted military industry sources as saying, in the latest sign of a Russian-US rift over Iran.
“Deliveries of the Tor-M1 have begun. The first systems have already been delivered to Tehran,” ITAR-TASS quoted an unnamed, high-ranking source as saying Friday.
The United States has pressed Russia to halt military sales to Iran, which Washington accuses of harbouring secret plans to build a nuclear weapon.
Moscow has consistently defended its weapons trade with Iran. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said the contract for 29 rocket systems, signed in December last year, was legitimate because the Tor-M1 has a purely defensive role.
ITAR-TASS reported that the rockets were to be deployed around Iran’s nuclear sites, including the still incomplete, Russian-built atomic power station at Bushehr.
A defensive system to be ULTIMATELY used against Israel and the United States. This Russian DEAL with the Iranians has been in the making for almost a year. A brief history is here.
In the meantime, the Russians and Chinese continue to stall a sanctions resolution in the United Nations Security Council. Could it be that Iran has NOT paid Russia? Or does Russia wish to guarantee delivery?
In August, Washington announced sanctions against several companies, including Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, for supplying technology to Iran that could allegedly be used to develop missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.
Under the sanctions no US company can deal with foreign companies on the sanctions list for two years.
A spokesman for Rosoboronexport contacted by AFP would not confirm or deny the reports about the Tor-M1 delivery, which were also issued by the Interfax news agency.
So, should the United States and Israel interdict these systems before they are fully deployed?
And involve Russia?
Depends upon the “POINT OF NO RETURN.”
Russia and China are NOT our friends but will they go to war with America to protect trade with Iran?
Doubtful – especially since the United States at the outbreak of hostilities would take the Iranian oil fields, and cut off oil to China.
But, Rome is burning while President Bush and Condoleezza Rice FIDDLE in the United Nations.
Hugh Hewitt has Iran, Russia, and The Security Council Mirage
The Natanz uranium enrichment complex in Natanz is pictured in this January 2, 2006 satellite image.
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