MOSCOW, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Russia will honor a contract to deliver its advanced S-300 air defense systems to Iran after resolving a series of problems, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"There are things that need to be settled before this contract can be fulfilled," Lavov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying at a news conference, without expounding what sort of problems there are.
Lavrov reiterated that Russia would abide by domestic laws and international rules, and would not take any steps that could lead to the destabilization of any region.
He said all Russian arms sales abroad were based on the principle and called on other countries to follow the lead.
Iran struck a deal with Russia on buying S-300 systems in 2007, but Russia has delayed the supply of the anti-aircraft missiles.
The S-300 defense system is an advanced mobile system that can travel at more than 2 km per second and shoot down aircraft and cruise missiles from up to 150 km away.
The United States and Israel were trying to persuade Russia not to sell the missile system to Iran because it could foil attempts to hit the country's nuclear facilities with an air strike.
Iran's tougher stance on nuclear issue gets on U.S. nerves
BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iran's newly announced plan to build two more uranium enrichment plants in the next year and its letter to the IAEA that proposes a simultaneous fuel swap within its territory are getting on U.S. nerves and may incur strong sanctions from the UN Security Council.
The United States has sent a clear warning to Tehran saying its latest proposal was "unacceptable" and that as a result, the country faces the "prospect of sanctions." Full story
Iran wants unconditional fuel swap
BEIJING, Feb. 24 --Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for an unconditional deal to swap uranium fuel for Tehran's medical research reactor.
He rejected western claims that the country's nuclear program is geared towards making weapons. Full story
China reiterates calls for diplomacy on Iran nuclear issue
BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday reiterated its call for increased diplomatic efforts to solve the Iran nuclear issue.
"China holds that the parties should continue to step up diplomatic efforts in a bid to maintain and promote the process of dialogue and negotiations," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. Full story
Britain prefers dialogue in Iran's nuclear issue
AMMAN, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Britain prefers dialogue to military solutions in dealing with the Iranian nuclear file, a senior British official said Tuesday.
In a press conference in the Jordanian capital of Amman, Ivan Lewis, British minister of state responsible for the Middle East, said his country prefers resorting to dialogue in dealing with the Iran's nuclear issue. Full story
U.S.: Time running out for Iran
WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that time and patience is running out for Iran, warning there would be "consequences" if Tehran goes on to develop its uranium enrichment capacity.
Gibbs said Iran's announcement that it is considering building two new enrichment sites showed "they have no interest in building international confidence that their nuclear program is for peaceful means."Full story
Iran's letter to IAEA says ready for simultaneous fuel swap within territory
TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iran's new letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was ready for a simultaneous fuel swap within its territory, Iran's English- language satellite channel Press TV reported Tuesday.
"Iran is still ready to purchase the fuel it needs for Tehran's research reactor," Iran's representative to the IAEA Ali Soltanieh said in a letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, adding that the agency should fulfill its duty and "facilitate the delivery of the fuel."Full story
Iran calls on foreign forces to leave region
TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the Middle East problems will not be solved until foreign forces leave the region, the English-language satellite Press TV reported Tuesday.
The Middle East issue should be solved through regional cooperation, said Mottaki, reiterating that foreign forces must leave the region, the report said. Full story
Iran accuses U.S. of backing leader of Sunni rebel group Jundallah
TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iran Tuesday accused the United States of backing Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of the Pakistan- based Iranian Sunni rebel group Jundallah, while the latter dismissed Iran's accusations.
Iran's state IRIB TV showed Tuesday a footage that Rigi was captured by Iranian forces and being led out of a plane by some security agents in an Iranian airport. Full story