Obama ‘Surprised’ Russia Waited So Long with S-300 to Iran

obama-putinPresident 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.

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.

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