Israeli President Shimon Peres said yesterday that the Kremlin had promised to reconsider the planned delivery of powerful air defense missiles to Iran.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made the pledge during their talks on Tuesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Peres said.
“President Medvedev gave a promise he will reconsider the sales of S-300s because it affects the delicate balance which exists in the Middle East,” Peres told reporters via video link from Sochi.
A Kremlin spokesman would not immediately comment on Peres’ statement.
Russia has signed a contract to supply the powerful S-300 missiles to Iran, but has dragged its feet on delivering them.
Israel and the US fear that Iran could use the missiles to protect its nuclear facilities — including the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz or the country’s first atomic power plant, which is being completed by Russian workers in Bushehr. That would make a military strike on the Iranian facilities much more difficult.
Israeli and US officials have strongly urged Moscow not to supply the weapons and the issue has been the subject of intense diplomatic wrangling for years.
Russian officials confirmed in March that a contract for the missiles had been signed with Iran two years ago, but a top Russian defense official said in April that no deliveries had been made yet.
Analysts said that Moscow could be using the S-300 contract as a bargaining chip in its relations with the US and Israel.
Israel wants Russia, which has close ties with Iran, to increase pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program. Iran, whose president has expressed hatred of Israel, maintains its nuclear program is only designed to provide more electricity. Israel, the US and other nations fear that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies