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Russia's Putin Says S-300 Missile Sale Prompted by Iran's Flexibility

Russian S-300 anti-missile rocket system move along a central street during a rehearsal for a military parade in Moscow in this May 4, 2009 file photo.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Iran's willingness and flexibility in trying to find a solution with the West over its nuclear program had spurred his decision to renew a contract to deliver an S-300 missile defense system to Tehran.

But the president, in his annual televised call-in show, said Russia would still work "as one" with its partners in the United Nations over Iran and that deliveries of the S-300 would work as a deterrent in the Middle East.

"And now with the progress of the Iranian nuclear track — and that is obviously positive — we do not see any reason to continue to keep the ban [on the delivery of the S-300] unilaterally," he said.

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