Sanctions, shmanctions: Iranians chant slogans at a pro-government gathering in Tehran after Friday prayers. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the new sanctions aimed at punishing his country for failing to halt part of its nuclear program, calling the latest U.N. resolution “a worthless paper.”
The powers that be in Tehran felt the sting of recently imposed U.N. sanctions Friday when Russia decided to halt the planned sale of air defense missiles to Iran as part of the international response to its controversial nuclear program. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused President Barack Obama of “bullying” other nations into going along with the U.S. agenda. —KA
The Washington Post:
The sanctions ban the sale of eight categories of conventional weapons, including “missiles and missile systems,” but a loophole in the language of the resolution suggested that defensive ground-to-air missile systems such as the S-300 were not covered by the ban. On Thursday, the day after the U.N. Security Council vote, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman indicated that the $800 million sale was still on and would not be affected by the sanctions.
But on Friday, the Kremlin contradicted that suggestion. “S-300s fall under these sanctions,” a Kremlin official was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. “Therefore, these type of weapons cannot be supplied to Iran.” The statement was amplified by news reports out of France, where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met Friday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that Putin had told Sarkozy that Russia would “freeze the delivery of the S-300 missiles.”