US urges Russia to reconsider missile export to Iran 2006-05-27 05:09:45

WASHINGTON, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday urged Russia to reconsider its decision to honor its commitment to sell Iran the Tor-M1 air defense missile system.

"We would hope that Russia would take a second look at this issue," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told a news briefing.

Russia said earlier in the day that it would fulfill a contract to supply its sophisticated Tor-M1 air defense systems to Iran.

"Russia has signed a contract with Iran for the supply of Tor-M1 close-range air defense systems to Iran," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said. "The contract will undoubtedly be fulfilled if no major factors interfere."

The contract, worth 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, is the biggest arms deal Iran and Russia have ever made.

The Tor-M1 unit is an all-weather air defense system intended for fulfilling air defense tasks at the battalion unit level. It ensures effective protection from cruise missiles, guided bombs, warplanes, helicopters, and pilotless and remotely controlled attack aircraft.

The United States has been uneasy toward Russia's military cooperation with Iran. In addition to a sale of Russian missiles, Washington also demands an end to Russia's cooperation with Iran in building the Islamic republic's first civilian nuclear power station.