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Russian missiles decision helps regional security: Iran

14 april 2015, 13:35

 Iran on Monday hailed Russia's decision to lift a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defence missile systems as a step towards "lasting security" in the region, AFP reports.

"The development of bilateral cooperation (with Russia) and with neighbouring countries in various fields can be very effective for lasting stability and security in the region," Defence Minister Hossein Dehqan said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Dehqan spoke of "extra-regional threats and the development of terrorist activities", without elaborating.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday lifting a ban on supplying the missile system to the Islamic republic, a move that was denounced by Israel and triggered concern in Washington.

The Pentagon said the sale of Russian system to Iran was "unhelpful" and that the United States would raise the matter through "the appropriate diplomatic channels".

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz also slammed the Russian decision as proof of Tehran's newfound "legitimacy" following nuclear talks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insists that the missiles have a "defensive" purpose only and are not a threat to any country in the region, including Israel.

Moscow's decision to lift the ban comes after a major breakthrough in talks between world powers and Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, which saw the parties agreeing on a framework deal on April 2.

The emerging deal, which is to be finalised by June 30, would see Iran curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from punishing economic sanctions.

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