UPDATE: Iran buying Russian arms via Belarus
DECEMBER 18, 2008 – “US government officials say Moscow is selling Tehran the sophisticated SA-20 (seen on the left) strategic-range air defense system through Belarus. (See missile threat link below) In an article published by the Aviation Week, US officials speaking on conditions of anonymity claimed that Moscow is using Belarus as a route for selling the highly advanced air defense systems to Iran so that it can deny ‘direct involvement’ in the affairs. The Aviation Week & Space Technology is a weekly on news of airspace industry. The magazine has a reputation for its contacts inside the United States military and industry organizations.
‘The Iranians are on contract for the SA-20,’ one of the US officials was quoted as saying. ‘We’ve got a huge set of challenges in the future that we’ve never had [before]. We’ve been lulled into a false sense of security because our operations over the last 20 years involved complete air dominance and we’ve been free to operate in all domains.’
The unnamed official added that the deployment of the SA-20 around Iranian nuclear facilities would be a direct threat to Israel’s fleet of advanced, but non-stealthy, F-15Is and F-16Is.
He said that Israel still has time for a preemptive strike against the Islamic Republic as it would take Iranian armed forces more than 24 months to become proficient in the operation of SA-20s.
The weekly reminds us that Moscow delivered some 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems under a $700 million contract clinched in late 2005 and has so far trained Iranian Tor-M1 specialists, including radar operators and crew commanders.” – Source: Charter ’97 (Photo credit: ausairpower)
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Now they’re into cars! Iran is hoping an agreement with Belarus will allow them to export their car to the European Union. Iran and Belarus will open a joint bank Torgovy Kapital (TK Bank). It will be located in Belarus.
DECEMBER 15, 2008 – As reported this past weekend by Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Tehran has signed an agreement with Minsk to launch an assembly line of the Iran-made Samand car in Belarus.
Under the agreement a joint Irano-Belarussian Unison Company will be formed to implement the contract of US$36 million to produce the Samand car in Belarus.
Alexei Vaganov, a senior official of the Unison Company, was quoted as saying that the car assembly line is expected to be fulfilled in 18 months.
The first phase of the Samand was inaugurated in July 2007 by IKCO – the largest carmaker in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa.
Iran is hoping the agreement with Belarus will allow them to export the car to the European Union.
“By 2010, the plant’s annual production capacity will reach 120,000 vehicles, enabling Iran to export the cars to Central Asian countries and possibly to the European Union,” Vaganov said.
“Samand is the sole Islamic brand car to be built in Europe by Belarus per market standards and it can be exported to whole the Commonwealth of Independent States and West European countries,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
Iran and Belarus will open a joint bank, Torgovy Kapital (TK Bank)
According to a report published by Charter ’97:
“The management of the National Bank of Belarus decided to register Bank Torgovy Kapital close company (TK Bank) and issue a special permission (licence) for carrying out bank activities.
The new bank can conduct banking operations on attracting finance of legal entities to deposits and allocate funds on their own account on terms of repayment, serviceability, and maturates, can open and operate banking accounts of legal entities. Besides, the bank got the right of settlement and cash services of individuals and firms, including corresponding banks, beneficial ownership of resources under an appropriate contract, conducting of exchange and factoring operations.
The licence allows the bank to issue bank guarantees and security papers, confirming attracting of resources to deposits and place them on banking accounts, issue bank plastic cards.
An authorised fund of TK Bank is equivalent to more than 5 million euro, which agrees the minimal size for a nascent bank. The bank was founded by Tejarat Bank (the Islamic Republic of Iran) and Lada OMS Holding joint venture (the Republic of Belarus).”
Tejaret Bank has overseas branches in France, UAE, Tajikestan, the U.K., Germany and China.
As jewishinfonews reported on November 26 2008, Belarus co-sponsored the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) anti-blasphemy resolution at the UN. Iran is a member of OIC and a Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Preparatory Committee responsible for planning Durban II.
In other news. . .
Tehran has positively responded to the approval of the Council of Europe on opening an office in Iran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hassan Qashqavi told reporters at his weekly press conference. Asked why the issue has not been reported earlier, the spokesman said it was not secret.