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In Moscow, Netanyahu presses for Iran sanctions 'with teeth'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won assurances Monday that Russia will will 'hold off' on supplying Iran with advanced S-300 air defense missiles, but it's still unlikely Russia will back sanctions against Iran, analysts say.

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Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (r.) meet for talks in Moscow's Kremlin, Monday.

Yuri Kochetkov/Reuters

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won assurances from President Dmitri Medvedev that Russia will will "hold off" on supplying Iran with advanced S-300 air defense missiles at a Kremlin meeting Monday.

"On this issue [the S-300s] Russia is taking into consideration the needs for stability in the region," Mr. Netanyahu said after meeting with Mr. Medvedev for several hours Monday.

On Sunday, Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of the Kremlin's Security Council, had suggested that there was no reason for Russia to continue stalling on delivering the weapons to Iran because "this deal is not restricted by international sanctions.... it is a purely defensive weapon."

Moscow contracted to sell the ultramodern S-300 to Iran in 2005, but has delayed delivery for what experts describe as diplomatic reasons.

"The contract is signed, but there are ongoing differences of opinion about whether or not to deliver the weapons," says Vitaly Shlykov, a former deputy defense minister who now works as a civilian adviser to Russia's Defense Ministry.

A 'game changer'

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