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Iran seeks $10 bln in Russian arms
November 14, 2016, 6:54 pm

The T-90 tank, seen here during Russia's Victory Day celebrations, is the most advanced in its arsenal [Xinhua]

The T-90 tank, seen here during Russia’s Victory Day celebrations, is the most advanced in its arsenal [Xinhua]

Iran is moving ahead with plans to purchase advanced Russian weaponry now that UN sanctions have been lifted even as Republican president-elect Donald Trump vows to revisit and/or scrap the nuclear deal between the Obama Administration and Tehran.

Viktor Ozerov, the Russian Federation Council’s defense and security committee, who is on a visit to Tehran, said on Monday that Iran wants to buy $10 billion worth of weapons including T90 tanks, the most advanced in Russia’s arsenal.

Russia has completed the delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran in October and these are expected to be ready for deployment by year’s end, Ozerov said.

But any weapons that can be used for offensive purposes, such as the T-90s, must be approved by the UN Security Council until 2020.

Should the UNSC prohibit the transfer of such weapons from Russia to Iran, the two countries will continue procurement discussions until the 2020 deadline runs out.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Monday said that Moscow stands firmly behind the nuclear agreement with Iran, and that this position will not change.

The agreement reached in Vienna over a year ago stipulates that Iran will freeze its nuclear program for at least 10 years.

During this time, it will reduce its nuclear centrifuges (needed to produce fissile material for an atomic bomb) from 19,000 to 6,000.

The centrifuges would hold no fissile material, however.

Iran would also have to limit the amount of plutonium it produces in its nuclear reactors. The agreement also limits uranium enrichment at 3.67 per cent and limits the stockpile to 300 kg – all measures designed to limit Tehran’s capacity to weapon its nuclear program.

Iran has always maintained that its program is for civilian and peaceful purposes.

The agreement also contains provisions for intrusive international weapons inspections at Iranian nuclear and military sites.

In return for complying with these provisions, all UN Security Council sanctions in regards to Iran’s nuclear program have been be lifted.

The agreement which was hailed by European powers such as Germany, the UK, France, Russia and China, was also strongly endorsed by the Obama administration.

Trump, and many others in the Republican party, has said it was historic mistake and vowed to scrap it.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies