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Sun 20 Sep 2009 09:12 PM

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Israel not planning a strike on Iran - Medvedev

Russian president bases claim in TV interview on recent conversation with Israeli president.

Israel not planning a strike on Iran - Medvedev
SHIMON PERES: Israeli President tells Russians that Israel has no plans to attack Iran. (Getty Images)

Israeli President Shimon Peres has given Russia assurances his country is not planning a strike against Iran, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with CNN released on Sunday."When Israeli President Peres was visiting me in Sochi recently, he said something very important for all of us: 'Israel does not plan any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful country and we will not do this'," he said.

In the interview posted on the Kremlin's website, Medvedev said such an attack would be "the worst thing that can be imagined", and hinted Russia could take sides in the conflict if Israel did attack.

Although Russia has no military alliances with Iran, "it does not mean that we would like to be or will be indifferent to such a development," he said.

Medvedev said any strike on Iran would be "extremely unreasonable" but added: "My Israeli colleagues told me that they were not planning to act in this way."

In the interview posted on the Kremlin website, Medvedev also told how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret visit to Moscow this month and held talks with him.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has visited Moscow. They did this in a closed regime, this was their decision. I do not even understand very well the reasons for it," he added.

Media reports said Netanyahu flew to Russia on September 7 to pressure Moscow not to sell advanced missile systems, including S-300 surface-to-air missiles, to Iran.

But Medvedev said Russia reserved the right to sell missiles to Iran, including S-300s, which Moscow classify as a defensive weapon.

"Our relations with Iran have a military component," Medvedev said. "What we have supplied and are going to supply has always been defensive weapons systems.

"I will hold to this when making final decisions as to all the existing contracts with Iran."

Israel has for years tried to convince Russia not to sell the S-300s to Tehran, which Israel fears Iran could use to rebuff a strike against its nuclear sites.

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Neil 11 years ago

So... Russia was unhappy with the US wanting to put anti missle sites in Eastern Europe to counter Iranian missles (Ok so we know Iranian Shahab-3 missiles won't go anywhere near as far as where these systems were going to be placed but bear with me). But they are happy to supply Iran with a huge order for its own defensive misslies and see nothing at all hypocritical about this?