Friday, May 27, 2016

Congress warns: Obama can stop S-300 transfer to Iran but isn't

US President Barack Obama's administration has not exercised its right under US law to sanction the Russian sale of an advanced weapon system to Iran, leading some in Congress to demand clarifications and accuse the administration of appeasing Tehran.

Obama can declare Russia's sale of the S-300 missile defense system as illegal and enact sanctions against it. The deal, said to be completed by the end of the year, is highly controversial because the advanced missile system would leave Iran's nuclear system - and potentially its nuclear arsenal - nearly impervious to attack.

Aside from declaring the sale illegal under US law, Obama can also veto the arms sale at the UN Security Council - he has so far refused to take either action, and his administration has not responded to repeated queries as to whether it intends to take action.

In response to a query, a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that the administration has not yet decided whether or not to issue sanctions on the imminent S-300 sale.
“We’re continuing to closely follow reports concerning the delivery of the S-300 defensive missile system from Russia to Iran‎,” the official said. 

“We have not made a determination as to whether this delivery, if and when complete, would trigger any actions under US authorities.” READ MORE