Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zionist plot? Saudis offer Russia billions to break with Tehran

Supporters of Iran like to create the impression that only Zionists want to isolate the Iranian regime. It is not so. Iran is perceived as a clear and present danger by most of the Gulf (Arabian Gulf or Persian Gulf) countries.
Ami Isseroff
Saudis offer Moscow billions to break with Tehran: report
Agence France-Presse - 16 July, 2008

Saudi Arabia has offered to buy Russian arms worth 2.4 billion dollars (1.5 billion euros) if Moscow stops supporting Iran, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.

"The kingdom's government advised Moscow to cut back its cooperation with Tehran, and in exchange it held out the prospect of profitable contracts with Saudi Arabia," the daily business newspaper Kommersant wrote.

A spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied the report.

"Any claims that military-technical cooperation between Russia and Saudi
Arabia is in any way linked to Russian-Iranian dialogue are inappropriate and do not correspond to reality," the Interfax news agency quoted Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

The newspaper report came one day after Putin met with the general secretary of Saudi Arabia's Security Council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Citing sources in Russia's defence industry, the newspaper said Saudi Arabia was ready to buy at least 100 BMP-3 combat vehicles, 150 T-90 tanks and 160 Mi-17, Mi-26 and Mi-35 helicopters.

Kommersant put the total value of the equipment at about 2.4 billion dollars.

Moscow has opposed stiffer international sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programme, which Tehran says is civilian in nature.

Relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia -- a traditional US ally -- have warmed considerably in recent years.

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