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    A Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is on display in an undisclosed location in Russia

    Obama Surprised Russian Ban on S-300 Missiles Sale to Iran ‘Held This Long’

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    US President Barrack Obama told reports on Friday he was surprised that Russia adhered to a ban on deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Iran for so long.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting the ban that was originally put in place following the 2010 UN Security Council embargo on arms deliveries to Iran.

    “I am frankly surprised that it [the ban on S-300 air defense systems to Iran] held this long given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons.”

    On Thursday, Putin said that there were no reasons for Russia to keep the embargo on providing Iran with S-300 air defense systems, underlining that it is a purely defensive weapon.

    “When I say I am not surprised given some of the deterioration in the relationship between Russia and the United States, and the fact that their economy is under strain, and this was a substantial sale,” Obama said.

    Also on Thursday, Iran’s Defense Ministry said the S-300 deal could be closed by the end of 2015.

    In 2007, Russia agreed to deliver five S-300PMU-1/SA-20 Gargoyle SAM systems (40 launchers) to Iran for about $800 million. However, in June 2009 the UN Security Council introduced sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear program. Russia joined the sanctions and suspended military sales to Iran.


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