End Times News Update
Sign: Gog Alliance (Russian missiles in Iran)
Scripture: Ezekiel 38:2-9
News Source: My Way News
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Iran claims to have S-300 anti-aircraft missiles

Aug 4, 12:09 PM (ET)
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran has obtained four S-300 surface-to-air
missile systems despite Russia’s refusal to deliver them to Tehran
under a valid contract, a semiofficial Iranian news agency claimed
Wednesday.

The Fars news agency, which has ties to the country’s most powerful
military force, the Revolutionary Guard, said Iran received two S-300s
from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source. Fars
didn’t elaborate, and there was no official confirmation of the
report.

Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell the S-300s, but so far has not
delivered. The sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles would
significantly boost Iran’s ability to defend against air strikes and
Israel and the United States have strongly objected to the deal.

A spokesman for Belarus’ state military trade committee, however,
denied there were any missile deliveries.

“Talks with the Iranian side about the delivery of such systems have
not taken place and, consequently, no deliveries to Iran have taken
place, neither of these systems or elements of them,” said Vladimir
Lavrenyuk. “The Belarusian side strictly observes all international
agreements on export control.”

The S-300 is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and
ballistic missile warheads at ranges of over 90 miles (144 kilometers)
and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet (27,432 meters).

The report comes as Iran faces increasing pressure from the West over
its nuclear program.

The U.S. accuses Tehran of seeking to build an atomic weapon, a claim
Iran denies. The United Nations has imposed four rounds of financial
sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a
process that can be used to produce fuel for a reactor or a warhead.
Iran says it has a right to conduct enrichment for what it says is its
peaceful nuclear program.

Moscow said in June that the latest round of U.N. sanctions would
prevent it from delivering the S-300s to Iran. The U.S. State
Department said that Washington appreciates Russia’s restraint.

But last month, Sergei Chemezov, the head of the state-owned
industrial giant Russian Technologies, said the contract for the
delivery of S-300s to Iran had not been annulled yet pending a
decision by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Asked to comment on the Iranian report, Vyacheslav Davidenko, a
spokesman for the Russian state arms trader Rosoboronexport, said that
his company hadn’t delivered any S-300s to Iran. “We are abiding by
the U.N. sanctions,” he said.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has forged close ties with
Tehran, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who visited the
ex-Soviet nation in 2007, has called the Belarusian leader one of his
best friends.

Former Belarus’ leader Stanislav Shushkevich, now an opposition
politician, said that Russia in the past has used Belarus as a conduit
for weapons deliveries to rogue nations.

“Belarus might well have used the established “gray” schemes to
deliver S-300s to Iran,” Shushkevich told The Associated Press. “The
deliveries of S-300s from Belarus to Iran would have been absolutely
impossible without Russia’s knowledge and sanction.”

Iran has insisted that Moscow is under an obligation to carry out the
contract to provide the S-300 missiles to Tehran.

“Iran possesses four S-300 PT missiles,” Fars reported.

The agency said Iran’s possession of the missiles was revealed for the
first time last year by Al-Manar TV, which is affiliated the
Iranian-backed Islamic militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon. Fars said
Iranian government officials never denied the report.

It added that Iran may try to start building the missiles itself.

Russia – which has sold other air-defense missiles, aircraft and other
weapons to Iran – is in a difficult position in the international
standoff with Iran, in part because it does not want to jeopardize
decades of political and trade ties with the Islamic republic.

Still, Moscow has lately shown increasing frustration with Iran, and
last month backed the new sanctions.

Associated Press Writers Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Yuras
Karmanau in Minsk, Belarus contributed to this report.

Source: My Way News
URL:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100804/D9HCP1B80.html

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