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Russia: U.S. Certain No Missiles Sold To Iran

Washington, 17 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United States says it is certain that Russia has not sold, or otherwise made available, advanced missiles to Iran.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns yesterday disputed a report in the "Washington Times" newspaper which said the Russians had given sophisticated missiles to Iran in violation of a pledge not to that was made by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in September 1994.

Burns said Yeltsin promised then that Russia would not enter into new arms contracts with Iran, and that it would close out existing contracts within a few years. The pledge was formalized in 1995 into an agreement signed by U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The U.S. spokesman said the U.S. would continue to discuss the issue with Russia, but he also said Washington wants to make it clear that the United States does not believe that Russia has transferred missiles to Iran.