arms-export giant has reportedly denied plans to equip Iran and Syria with the
powerful S-300 surface-to-air defense system.
"We have no information of this kind," a spokesman for the Russian state-owned
firm, Rosoboronexport, said in response to claims about the potential sales of
the advanced S-300 missile to Middle Eastern countries.
The report by Russia's Interfax news agency came as the Israeli caretaker Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert said that he would discuss issues of 'special, immediate
concern' including the supply of advanced missiles and weapons technology to
Tehran and Damascus during his two-day visit to Moscow.
Israel maintains that the missile defense deal would 'upset the
military-strategic balance in the Middle East'.
Tel Aviv's opposition to Moscow-Tehran military ties comes only days after the
Pentagon announced plans to sell 1,000 GBU-39 smart bombs to Israel.
The Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39), 'bunker-buster' bombs, has been developed to
penetrate fortified facilities located deep underground - such as Iran's nuclear
Tel Aviv has threatened to launch air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities
under the pretext that Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), has plans to develop nuclear weapons.
This is while, in its latest report on Iran, the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) announced that it could not find any 'components of a nuclear
weapon' or 'related nuclear physics studies' in the country.
According to intelligence officials familiar with S-300 defense capabilities,
the surface-to-air system would effectively rule out an Israel-waged war against
The S-300 missile has a range of 150 kilometers (90 miles) and is capable of
striking a plane up to 30 kilometers (18 miles) high.
"If Tehran obtained the S-300, it would be a game-changer in military thinking
for tackling Iran," long-time Pentagon advisor Dan Goure said.
"This is a system that scares every Western air force," he added.
Amid contradictory statements about the sales of the sophisticated Russian-made
S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, Iran has denied reports that it has purchased the
When asked in a September press conference whether Iran had recently acquired
the sophisticated system, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi
said, "Such reports are incorrect."
Qashqavi said Iran's missile and technical capabilities are the product of a
homegrown technology developed by Iranian experts.
... Payvand News - 10/09/08 ... --
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