Support The Moscow Times!

Obama: Russian S-300 Missiles Won’t Protect Against U.S. Strikes in Iran

Four U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircrafts are seen in the sky above the coast of Florida.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged “perspective” on Iran's S-300 missile deal with Russia, saying the weapons were no match against his country's military prowess.

The S-300 air defense systems, built by Russia's largest defense contractor Almaz-Antey, are some of the most advanced weapons of their kind on the market, prompting fears that the weapons would be used to defend Iranian nuclear sites.

But in a televised interview on MSNBC's “Hardball” program, Obama said the U.S.' roughly $600-billion defense budget outstripped any military strategy that Iran could afford, with the latter only spending $17 billion on defense.

“Even if the [Iranians] have got some [Russian S-300] air defense systems. ..You know, if we had to, we could penetrate them,” Obama told interviewer Chris Matthews.

“This is a sale that has been pending for six years. In fact, the Russians stopped it at my request as we were putting together the sanctions that ultimately brought the Iranians to the table. It's of concern, we object to it … [but] we have to keep this in perspective,” he added.

Iran signed a contract with Russia to buy five S-300 systems for $800 million in 2007, but in 2010 then-President Dmitry Medvedev decided to freeze delivery as a sign of good will toward the West.

Putin earlier this month signed a decree lifting the ban after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran on curbing its nuclear program.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more