<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> WorldTribune.com: Mobile Russia ducks U.S. objections, talks advanced weapons systems with Iran
Russia ducks U.S. objections, talks advanced weapons systems with Iran

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 Free Headline Alerts

MOSCOW Iran and Russia have been discussing high tech defense cooperation over the objections of the United States.

Officials said the two countries intend to examine joint defense development and production in such areas as air defense, radars and air systems. They said the ventures be a major element in Russian military sales to Teheran.

"Russia will continue its cooperation with Iran on technical, military and energy issues despite U.S. opposition," Mikhail Zavali, a director at Russia's state-owned arms agency Rosoboronexport, said.

In 2008, Iran was said to have ordered the S-300PMU2 long-range air and missile defense system from Moscow. Russian sources said the first batteries would be deployed in Iran by the second quarter of 2009.

Officials said Russia has offered a range of joint defense ventures, including the assembly of components for advanced systems. They did not rule out that S-300 components would be manufactured in Iran.

"We have invested a lot in the country, and the outlook for a Russian presence in Iran is good," Zavali said during a tour of a Russian aviation show on Sept. 5. "So, we intend to profit from our investment and do not care about the view of other countries on this issue."

Officials said Russia has accelerated efforts to complete Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor. They said the Russian state-owned Atomstroiexport, prime contractor of the 1,000 megawatt reactor, entered the final stages of preparing to operate Bushehr, scheduled for launch in 2009.

   WorldTribune Home