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Russia military cooperation with Iran to continue: official

Russia joining the ban on supplying arms like missile systems and military aircraft to Iran will not mean a complete halt on military and technical cooperation between Moscow and Baghdad, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Thursday.

President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday signed a decree banning supplies of any tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, ships and missile systems.

“We did not add anything to the list, but on every point there we will have no further military cooperation with Iran. However, there are other forms (of military cooperation still allowed),” Sergey Ryabkov was quoted by RIA Novosti as telling Russian reporters in New York.

Russia’s support of the sanctions against Tehran and its failure to deliver air defence missiles has left Iranian leaders fuming over what they see as betrayal by a trusted ally.

Iran has over the past months been announcing steady advances in its nuclear programme, in defiance of international calls for it to freeze its sensitive uranium enrichment operations.

Russia’s tougher line on Iran has coincided with a warming of its relations with the United States. Washington has repeatedly praised Moscow for its support in the nuclear crisis.