The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that a new round of sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council do not obligate Moscow to renege on a sale of S-300 missiles to Tehran.
Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko was responding to a report by Interfax news agency, which said Russia would freeze a contract to sell the missile defense system to Iran.
"The S-300 system is not included in the UN resolution on Iran," Nestrenko said. "Because the resolution includes certain qualifications regarding different types of weapons, I can say defense systems are not included."
However he did not reject Interfax's report. Earlier, the Russian news agency cited an unidentified source in Russia's arms industry as saying that "naturally, the contract to deliver S-300 missile systems will be frozen".
A number of Russian officials had insisted the new sanctions would not prevent the sale of the S-300, which can shoot down several aircraft or missiles simultaneously.
The sanctions resolution did not refer specifically to the Russian contract, but it requires the various states to take the steps necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring more missile technology.
Recently the United States and Israel have repeatedly urged Russia not to sell the missiles to Iran, despite the contract signed in 2007.
The S-300 would significantly improve Iran's defense against air-strikes, which Israel has not yet denied it would perform.
Reuters contributed to this report