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Sunday, December 4

How to scare up a billion to build your anti- anti-missile defense system

"Russia has long positioned itself as a major peace broker between Iran and the West -- and all of a sudden they are throwing this bombshell. It just does not make any sense."
-- Western diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous (1)

December 1
RIA Novosti
Russia has technology to outsmart anti-missile systems - expert
(MOSCOW) Russia has the technology for a strategic missile that could get around any existing or future anti-ballistic missile defense systems, the chief of the Russian General Staff said Thursday.

"This is a very expensive technology and its [industrial] production depends on the situation," Yury Baluyevsky said.

He said anti-ballistic missile defense systems were not efficient in their defense against existing types of weapons.

December 3
Pravda
Russia to sell 29 air defense systems to Iran

(MOSCOW) ... Russia intends to sell 29 Tor M-1 anti-missile systems capable of downing cruise missiles and air bombs to Iran, the Vedomosti newspaper wrote [December 2] with reference to an anonymous manager of a defense enterprise. According to the newspaper, the contract on the matter has already been signed.
But hey, a contract is just a piece of paper, as Pravda reminds the reader:
In 2000, Russia pulled out from the secret agreement with the USA about restricted arms deliveries to Iran. The document was known as the Gore-Chernomyrdin Protocol. Moscow undertook not to strike any defense deals with Iran. In return, the USA promised to help Russia enter the international market of defense technologies. The promise was not kept, though.
Tsk tsk. Always try to keep your promises.

For more on the reported deal and US official reaction:

U.S. Concerned by Reported Russian Missile Sales to Iran, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, December 2 via Defense News

Iran to get Russian missile interceptors from Russia's business daily Vedomosti via RIA Novosti (12:29 - 2/12/05)

1) From Reuters (UK) December 2 report Iran and Russia sign $1 bln defence deal
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