Obama 'Surprised' Russia Waited So Long with S-300

President Obama says he is “surprised” that Russia had waited as long as it did to seal a deal to sell missile defense systems to Iran.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
Reuters

President Barack Obama said on Friday that he was “surprised” that Russia had waited as long as it did to seal a deal to sell missile defense systems to Iran, given the tensions between Russia and the United States, Reuters reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday lifting a ban on the delivery of S-300 anti-missile rocket systems to Iran, a move to which Washington responded with concern.

Obama said on Friday that the sale was initially set to occur in 2009, but Russia put it on hold at the United States' request. Putin said on Thursday the sale was resumed because of progress in nuclear talks with Iran.

Responding on  Thursday to the S-300 sale, the top United States military officer, Martin Dempsey, said it will not affect America's ability to strike at Tehran's nuclear facilities if necessary.

"We've known about the potential for that system to be sold to Iran for several years and have accounted for it in all of our plans," Dempsey told a news conference.

"The military option that I owe the president to both encourage a diplomatic solution and if the diplomacy fails to ensure that Iran does not achieve a nuclear weapon is intact," he added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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