MOSCOW (AP) – Moscow and Tehran signed an agreement providing for Russia to provide Tor M-1 air defense systems to Iran, the Vedomosti business daily reported Friday.
The newspaper cited an unidentified manager at a military-industrial enterprise as saying Russia would provide Iran with 29 Tor missiles systems that had originally been manufactured on orders from Greece.
The Rosoboronexport state arms export agency said it had no information on the reported deal.
While the conventional weapons deal would not violate international agreements, Moscow can expect a heated reaction from the United States, the newspaper predicted.
"I expect that Russia”s decision to supply the complexes to Iran will meet a negative reaction from the West, but this criticism will be of a political rather than legal character," Vedomosti quoted Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, as saying.
The Interfax news agency said that Russian and Iranian officials had signed contracts in November for more than US$1 billion (¤850 million). Citing an unnamed source in the Russian military-industrial complex, Interfax said up to 30 To-M1 air defense systems would be sent to Tehran in 2006-2008.
Interfax said that the Tor-M1 system could identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 6,000 meters (20,000 feet).
Interfax also quoted the source as saying that that two countries had reached a deal on modernizing Iran”s air force inventory.
Russia, a key Iranian ally, has resisted efforts to bring Tehran before the U.N. Security Council over its alleged nuclear weapons program, insisting that the disputes be resolved through the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Russia is building a nuclear reactor in the Iranian city of Bushehr.