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Iran sanctions won’t hurt Russian missile supplies: Lavrov

UN sanctions against Iran will not hurt Russia’s S-300 missile supplies to the Islamic republic as well as the two countries’ nuclear cooperation, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday, after claims the missile deal would be frozen.

Accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a visit to Uzbekistan, Lavrov also said Russia and Iran were in talks to build more nuclear reactors for the Islamic republic.

“As far as military-technical cooperation is concerned, the resolution introduces limits to cooperation with Iran on offensive weapons and defensive weapons do not fall under these limits,” Lavrov told reporters.

An unidentified source in the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, which supervises Russian arms sales, told the Interfax news agency earlier that the contract for the delivery to Tehran of the S-300 air defence missile systems will be frozen.

The UN Security Council adopted Wednesday a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear drive, imposing broader military and financial restrictions on the Islamic republic.

But Lavrov said the fresh sanctions would not affect Russia’s economic cooperation with Tehran and Moscow planned to build more nuclear reactors in Iran.

While acknowledging that Russian firms would have to adapt to new restrictions, he said: “We have secured absolute protection for all the principally important channels of trade and economic cooperation which exist between Russia and Iran.”

“The resolution does not put up any barriers to these ties, including not only the completion of the Bushehr project but also the construction of any number of new light water reactors such as the Bushehr type,” he added.

“Our Iranian partners and us have such plans.”

He declined to elaborate on the plan for the new reactors, saying it was a “commercial secret.”

Russia is helping Iran build its first nuclear power plant, which is set to come online by the end of this summer.

Washington has said launching the nuclear plant amid international pressure on Tehran would send it the wrong signal.