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Russia Says 'Nyet” to Israel on Missile Sale to Iran

Russia gave Netanyahu the cold shoulder before he even landed in Moscow Sunday and said it will proceed with its sale of advanced missiles to Iran.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/15/2010, 7:25 AM / Last Update: 2/15/2010, 7:10 AM

US Army
Russia gave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the cold shoulder before he even landed in Moscow Sunday night and said it will proceed with its sale of advanced S-300 missiles to Iran. The Prime Minister said before departing for Moscow he would press Russia to cancel the sale.

Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council secretary, told Interfax news agency that the S-300 is an “exclusively defensive weapon” and therefore is not covered by international sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Iran says it needs the system to defend against an aerial strike.

"There is a signed contract (to supply S-300 missiles) which we must implement, but deliveries have not started yet," Nazarov said before Prime Minister Netanyahu landed for a three-day visit with Russian and Jewish leaders.

The Prime Minister visited Russia several months ago for a one-day visit, ostensibly to convince Moscow to suspend the deal. However. Iran also is on the agenda, and he said before leaving Israel on Sunday that he will push for “crippling sanctions” in another diplomatic effort to halt the advancement of its unsupervised nuclear facilities.

Nazarov echoed sentiments expressed in Israel by visiting U.S. Chief of Staff Mike Mullen and said that attacking Iran would be a mistake, but he used harsher terms. "Any military action against Iran will make the situation explode and will have extremely negative consequences for the entire world, including for Russia, which is a neighbor of Iran," he warned.

Prime Minister Netanyahu (left) will meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir as Russian falls into line with an American-led effort to place stiffer sanctions on Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday night that she believes China, which has been the toughest opponent to sanctions, also will agree.

Both Russia and China have a vested interest in Iran's nuclear reactors, which they are helping to build.