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Russia Moves Ahead on Iranian Arms Contract


Russia's Foreign Ministry says a deal to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran is not affected by new U.N. sanctions against Tehran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko says a U.N. resolution approved Wednesday does not apply to anti-aircraft systems, with the exception of portable missiles.

He commented Thursday after Russia's Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed official with the Russian agency that supervises arms sales as saying the country was freezing a contract to sell the missile system to Iran because of the new sanctions.

However, other Russian news organizations quote agency official Mikhail Dmitrivev as saying the deal was not affected by the U.N. resolution and work on the contract continues.

Russia signed a contract in 2007 to sell Iran the missiles that would significantly boost Tehran's defense capabilities. However, none of the missiles have been delivered.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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