Russia has said it has completed the sale of new missile systems to Iran. The controversial deal will anger the US and Israel, who accuse Iran of developing nuclear arms and undermining security in the Middle East. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov defended the deal, signed in December 2005 and thought to be worth around 700 million euros.
He claimed the sale does not contravene any sanctions imposed on Iran. Recent UN sanctions, accepted by Russia, do not extend to pre-existing contracts, he added. According to Moscow, the anti-aircraft missile systems are to be used for Iran to defend itself. Washington says the missiles, which have a maximum range of 25 kilometers, could be used aggressively. The US recently imposed sanctions on several Russian and Chinese weapons firms for supplying Iran and Syria, sanctions Russia calls ‘illegal’.