Press Release #22
September 16, 1997


Moscow, September 16 (ITAR-TASS) - The Russian Space Agency, named by the U.S. press as the main Russian organization allegedly helping Iran to create ballistic missiles, has strongly rejected such claims.

"Russia has not had and does not plan to have in the near future any contacts with Iran in the space sphere, the more so help that country to create missiles. Reports on a transfer of missile technologies to Iran have nothing to do with reality," a spokesman for the agency told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

He said Russian-Iranian space cooperation is unreal today, but "in the future the Russian Space Agency could discuss a possibility of, for instance, launching an Iranian communication satellite by a domestic rocket."

However, Russia strictly abides by the international regime of non-proliferation of missile technologies and a transfer of boosters or technologies of their production "is out of the question," spokesman said.

He stressed Russia and the United States "officially" discuss problems of cooperation with Iran and the U.S. concern with these or those actions of Russia has never been justified. A meeting of a U.S. presidential representative at the Russian Space Agency is planned for this week to discuss alleged Russian participation in the program of production of Iranian ballistic missiles.

The U.S. mass media reports have been denied by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and representatives of the Russian Rosvooruzheniye company and the country's leading institute that develops ballistic missiles -- the Moscow institute of heat engineering.