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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Russia denies Hezbollah arms link
Israeli officer shows a Russian anti-tank missile allegedly seized in southern Lebanon
Israel claims it has seized Russian anti-tank missiles in Lebanon
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.


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.

He added that Moscow had not decided yet whether to send troops to Lebanon as part of the international peacekeeping force.

'Premature talk'

The defence minister also reiterated Russia's view on Iran's uranium enrichment programme. He said that any talk of sanctions was premature and not worthwhile.

He said Russia would continue to press for a negotiated solution to the dispute.

The United States has said Iran's response to a package of incentives aimed at persuading it to curb its nuclear programme fell short of what was required by the United Nation Security Council.

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