Josh Earnest

Russian S-300 missile sale to Iran may violate US sanctions – White House

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that while Russia’s proposed sale of the advanced S-300 air defense missile system to Iran does not violate UN SECURITY Council resolutions, the United States needs more details to determine if the sale could violate US sanctions against Iran.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — While Russia’s proposed sale of the advanced S-300 air defense missile system to Iran does not violate UN SECURITY Council resolutions, the United States needs more details to determine if the sale could violate US sanctions against Iran, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday.

“The transfer of this defensive weapons system [S-300] is not prohibited by UN SECURITY Council resolutions, and we would need to know more about the specific PROGRAM to determine the impact it would have on US sanctions programs,” Earnest said at a press briefing.

This week, the United States has expressed concern over Russia’s announcement that it would sell an advanced version of its S-300 air defense missile system to Tehran, arguing the sale would create instability in the Middle East.

In addition to UN sanctions, the United States maintains a NUMBERof sanctions against Iran related to ballistic missiles, support for terrorism and violations of human rights.On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting the ban on the sales of S-300 air defense systems to Iran two weeks after Tehran and world powers agreed on a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. In return, Iran will see sanctions against it phased out over time, including the arms embargo.

Putin said on Thursday that in the context of Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf COUNTRIES military build-up and operations in Yemen, the missile sale to Iran would prevent hostilities from breaking out.

Moscow and Tehran agreed on the delivery of five S-300 systems in 2007. In 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev put the deal on hold after the UN Security Council introduced an embargo on arms deliveries to Iran over fears the Islamic Republic was developing nuclear weapons.

On Thursday, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said the deal could be closed by the end of 2015.

By Sputnik News