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11 mai 2011 3 11 /05 /mai /2011 21:00

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WASHINGTON, May 11 (RIA Novosti)

 

Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren on Wednesday called on Russia via the Russian Jewish Congress to restrict weapons supplies to Syria and Iran, Israel's long-time enemies.

 

The issue has long been a sticking point in Russia's otherwise friendly relations with Israel.

 

Speaking to the Russian Jewish Congress during their ten-day U.S. tour, Oren said Russia should tighten control over its arms exports to the Middle East.

 

He praised Russia's missile defense systems but warned against selling them to Syria and Iran where they could end up in the hands of Israel's enemies.

 

Oren also asked Russian Jews to persuade Moscow to help his country's efforts to scrap Iran's nuclear program. Western powers suspect Tehran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, which Iran strongly denies, insisting it needs atomic energy solely for civilian purposes.

 

Russia agreed in 2005 to supply fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor and has been reluctant to support the imposition of sanctions on the country.

 

Tel Aviv and Washington have also repeatedly asked Russia to stop selling Iran the truck-mounted S-300, which can shoot down hostile missiles or aircraft up to 150 km (90 miles) away.

 

Israel says Russian supplies of P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria pose a significant danger to its naval vessels in the Mediterranean and could upset the strategic balance in the region.

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