Though he could contest the sale of Russia’s advanced S-300 missile system to Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama has not.
Analysts see Obama’s hesitancy as another in a long line of capitulations to Iran and at least one congressman has launched an official inquiry into the matter.
Iran’s military leadership observed parts of a new Russian S-300 missile defense system at a parade on National Army Day in April. Reuters
Administration officials declined to answer questions from the Washington Free Beacon and other outlets about whether the president “will consider taking action in the future.”
Meanwhile, Israeli sources said Moscow has ordered a halt to further delivery of the S-300PMU2 systems to Iran. The Kremlin said three batteries have arrived in Teheran but the last two were held back because of lack of Iranian payment, according to a report by Middle East News Line.
In April, Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, sent an inquiry to the White House about the S-300 sale.
“Given the serious implications for the United States and our allies in the region, I respectfully request that you quickly determine that Russia’s transfer of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems advance Iran’s efforts to acquire ‘destabilizing numbers and types of advances conventional weapons’ and impose the necessary U.S. sanctions once the Russian delivery takes place,” Chabot wrote to the White House on April 7, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Free Beacon.
Chabot outlined concern “that without such a determination the United States may be viewed as acquiescing to this transfer” of a major defensive weapons system to Iran.
The administration has not responded to multiple inquiries about the potential designation, Chabot said.
“The S300 is one of the most advanced anti-aircraft missile system’s in the world and significantly bolsters Iran’s offensive capabilities and stands as a serious hurdle to our efforts to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed state. This is absolutely a destabilizing conventional weapon system,” Chabot said.
A State Department official finally responded that the White House has not made a final determination about whether the S-300 sale would trigger additional U.S. sanctions.
“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 U.S. authorities.”