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.”
“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.