Friday, August 25, 2006

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia denies Hezbollah arms link

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia denies Hezbollah arms link:

"The Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Ivanov, has denied Israeli claims that Hezbollah has modern Russian weapons.

Israel says that Russian anti-tank weapons delivered to the Syrian army have been passed on to Hezbollah.

Mr Ivanov said this was complete nonsense, adding that the weapons being used by Hezbollah were not up to date.

He also repeated Russia's position on Iran, saying that any talks of imposing sanctions over its nuclear programme were premature and unhelpful.

'Laughable'

The minister's comments during a visit to Russia's far east were in response to Israeli allegations that Hezbollah had used Russian state-of-the-art Kornet anti-tank system in the recent fighting in Lebanon.

Last week Israeli officials said they had provided Moscow with proof that Hezbollah had been supplied with Russian weapons delivered to the Syrian Army.

Mr Ivanov said that it was 'laughable' to call the anti-tank weapons he understood to have been used by Hezbollah modern."

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