Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 22
By Khalid Kazimov
Russian diplomat Vyacheslav Matuzov said that Russia is to benefit from relations with Iran as a major regional power, Iran 's official IRNA news agency reported Jan. 21.
Matuzev, who is Russia's President of the Society of Friendship and Business Partnership with the Arab Countries, stated that expanding relations between Iran and Russia is not going to harm any country, be it the US, Europe, or Arab countries.
Pointing to recent agreements between the two countries' defense chiefs, he noted that the agreements are not directed as threats to any country.
This week, the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu made a trip to Tehran, during which he announced that Russia is willing to fix problems that have hindered the enactment of an arms trade deal with Iran.
Iran has long been demanding Russia 's commitment to the arms deal it claims to have been signed in 2007.
According to Russia Today, the $800 million contract to deliver S300 air defense missile systems to Iran was canceled in 2010 by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, to fall in line with UN sanctions imposed on Iran due to its nuclear program. In turn, Tehran has filed a currently pending $4 billion lawsuit against Russia to Geneva 's arbitration court.
Pointing to UN resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran, Matuzov said "Of course the resolutions can be interpreted in different ways. The S300 missile system with a range of 200 to 300 kilometers is considered a defense system and there is nothing to forbid its trade."
He further explained that when Medvedev cancelled the trade deal, he did so under US pressure.
In their recent meeting, the Iranian and Russian defense ministers also signed an agreement on sharing efforts to fight terrorism, separatism, and extremism; working hand in hand to help regional stability, and exchanging military know-how.
Edited by CN