Bush administration against Russian arms supplies to Iran

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The Bush administration is opposed to Russian weapons supplies to Iran, Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, told the U.S. Senate Thursday.
WASHINGTON, March 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Bush administration is opposed to Russian weapons supplies to Iran, Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, told the U.S. Senate Thursday.

In early February the Iranian news agency said that Iran had successfully tested the TOR-M1 air defense missile system supplied by Russia as part of a $700 million contract. The tests were part of military exercises that began in southern Iran after Russia completed delivery to Iran in late January.

Burns said that the U.S. "Was totally against it [the sales]", adding that Russia had just delivered its TOR-1 missile systems to Iran.

He also said that the Bush administration believed that U.S. law introducing sanctions against foreign companies who traded with Iran were effective.

Russia's weapons supplies alarmed the United States, which imposed new sanctions on the Russian government's official arms dealer Rosoboronexport and on two other companies for the sale of TOR-M1 to the Islamic Republic.

Russia's TOR-M1is a high-precision missile system designed to destroy aircraft, manned or unmanned, and cruise missiles flying at an altitude of up to 10 kilometers (6 miles).

In February 2007, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russian TOR-M1 supplies for defense purposes to Iran did not contradict any international agreements.

"Iran is not Russia's leading partner, and the system is meant exclusively for defense," Ivanov said. "Most importantly, we have not violated any agreements," he said.

On March 24, the UN Security Council imposed further resolutions on Iran, freezing foreign financial accounts of 13 Iranian companies and 15 individuals involved in uranium enrichment and missile development projects. The sanctions also impose visa restrictions, an embargo on weapon exports from Iran and recommendations to other nations to refrain from selling arms to Tehran or providing loans.

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