Russia’s announcement on Monday that it will proceed with the sale of advanced missile systems to Iran crosses a so-called “red line” established by the Obama administration in 2010, according to comments by senior administration officials.
Following years of dissent from the United States, Russia announced on Monday that it would proceed with the sale of the advanced S-300 air defense missile system to Iran, which has been vying to purchase the hardware for years.
The announcement sparked criticism from the Obama administration, which has been pressuring Iran since at least 2010 to withhold the sale.
Russia’s previous ban on selling Tehran the powerful defense system was hailed as a coup by the Obama administration and promoted by it as an example of President Obama’s ability to rein in Russian intransigence on the military front.
However, Monday’s announcement by Russia threatens to complicate an already fractured relationship with Moscow and throw into further jeopardy the ongoing negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.