US President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that if Russia sold an advanced missile defense system to Iran, the United States could “penetrate” Tehran’s stockpile if needed.
Speaking on the MSNBC program “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” Obama underlined that the US objected to Russia’s decision to lift a ban on the sale to Iran of the S-300 air-defense missile system.
The US president said the move was of particular concern due to the ongoing negotiations between world powers and the Islamic Republic on a final deal regarding Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
“Our defense budget is somewhere just a little under $600 billion. Theirs is a little over $17 billion. Even if they’ve got some air defense systems, if we had to, we could penetrate them,” he said on the MSNBC program.
Turning to the conflict in Yemen, Obama also warned Iran not to send weapons to rebels in the embattled state that could be used to threaten shipping traffic in the region.
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