Putin to offer Iran ‘arms, nuclear deal’ at summit

September 11, 2013 11:57 am

Kommersant cited a source as saying that Russia’s offer would depend on Iran’s withdrawing a $4 billion lawsuit that it has lodged at an international court in Geneva against Russia’s arms export agency.

Putin would offer to supply Tehran with a modified export version of the S-300 systems called S-300VM Antey-2500, the source said.

Russia could increase supplies of arms to Iran if the United States decides on military intervention in Syria, the head of the lower house’s committee on international relations, Alexei Pushkov, told parliament on Wednesday.

“If the ‘party of war’ prevails in the United States then I consider it absolutely justified to suggest considering more serious measures by Russia, including broadening of supplies of defensive weapons to Iran,” Pushkov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main regional ally and has warned Western powers against intervention in the conflict.

Russia has consistently opposed international military intervention against Assad and is negotiating with Damascus on a plan for it to hand over chemical weapons in order to avoid US strikes.

An arms industry source told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday that supplies of Antey-2500 S-300s to Iran “could not be ruled out in the future, but so far no pre-contractual work is being carried out by Russian exporters.”

Kommersant also cited the source close to the Kremlin as saying that that Russia was ready to build a second reactor for Bushehr power station in a deal that was not “particularly profitable from an economic point of view, but is rather political.”

Moscow has cooperated with Iran on nuclear power generation despite international opposition to a programme that Western powers and Israel believe is being used as a smokescreen for building a nuclear bomb, while Iran insists it is peaceful.

Russia had urged the West to soften sanctions against Iran after the election of Rowhani, a centrist cleric, in June, expressing hopes for a major breakthrough in the nuclear standoff. Rowhani has pledged greater transparency in talks.

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