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Russia has no intention at this point of supplying Iran with long-range S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, Russian foreign ministry officials told their Israeli counterparts this week. They also said that if Russia had come under rocket attack, it might have responded in a way similar to Israel's Gaza operation.

"Before criticizing Israel we must answer the question whether we wouldn't do the same thing in its place," a senior official told Foreign Ministry deputy director-general Yossi Gal in Moscow.

Gal met first deputy foreign minister Andrei Denisov and the Russian president's special envoy for Middle Eastern affairs, Alexander Sultanov. The Russian officials said it was necessary to stabilize the cease-fire in Gaza. They displayed understanding for Operation Cast Lead instead of criticizing it.

The advanced launcher for the S-300 anti-aircraft missile is mobile and can be prepared for firing within minutes.

The missiles can hit planes 30 kilometers high and at a 150-kilometer range. The system's radar can launch missiles at dozens of targets simultaneously. Once Iran deploys those missiles to protect its nuclear facilities, it would be difficult for Israeli fighter planes to destroy them from the air.