WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States voiced concern Monday about the possible sale of sophisticated Russian air defense missiles to Iran after Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on such shipments.
US Secretary of State John Kerry raised Washington’s concerns about the end of the sales ban on the S-300 missile system directly with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in an early morning phone call.
The move comes just days after global powers—Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States —agreed an outline framework of a deal to sharply curtail Iran’s suspect nuclear program.
But a full deal still has to be agreed by a June 30 deadline.
“We don’t believe it’s constructive at this time for Russia to move forward with it,” said State Department acting spokeswoman Marie Harf.
The US military also expressed concerns. “Our opposition to these sales is long and public. We believe it’s unhelpful,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters.