US anti-Iran bans no concern of Russia’s in S-300 sale: Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow does not care about the United States’ unilateral sanctions against Iran over the delivery of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to the Islamic Republic.
“The US sanctions are no concern of ours,” Lavrov told journalists in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol on Wednesday, emphasizing that Moscow stands only by its own international commitments.
“Above all, with regard to sanctions, this is the decision of the UN Security Council. All other unilateral restrictions imposed bypassing the Security Council in violation of the general norms of the international law are of no interest to us,” he said.
The remarks by the top Russian diplomat came one day after John Kirby, US State Department spokesman, said that Washington is concerned about the delivery of the defense system to Tehran despite the fact the move does not violate any UN Security Council resolutions.
“We’ve been making very clearly our objections to any sale of this missile system to Iran, as I said, for quite some time, and we’ll continue to monitor it closely,” Kirby said.
He further claimed that Washington needs more details on the issue in order to check it for compliance with the US measures against Iran.
Last week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that President Vladimir Putin has made the decision on the possible supply of S-300 missile system to Tehran, stressing that it is merely a bilateral issue while no participation of a third country is needed.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency that Moscow and Tehran have reached an agreement on the delivery of S-300 defense system to Iran.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan also announced on Tuesday that a delegation of Iranian officials are set to travel to the Russian capital city of Moscow next week to sign a new contract on the Russian-built S-300 air defense system.
Moscow banned the delivery of the S-300 system to Tehran back in 2010 under the pretext that the agreement it signed with Iran in 2007 was covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions which bars hi-tech weapons sales to the Islamic Republic.
In April 2015, however, Putin signed a presidential decree paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the missile defense system to the Islamic Republic.
The decision came less than two weeks after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia plus Germany – reached a mutual understanding on Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.