Obama 'Frankly Surprised' It Took This Long for Russia to Cross His Red Line on Missiles to Iran

April 17, 2015

President Obama said that he was "not surprised" Russia sold an advanced missile system to Iran in the midst of his negotiations with the Ayatollah to prevent Iran’s nuclear facilities from making a bomb. He went even further to say that he expected the deal to happen a lot sooner than it did.

"I'm frankly surprised that it held this long given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons," President Obama said on Friday.

The sanguine comments from President Obama are surprising considering the negative effects his administration said it would cause.

"He’s sort of thanking Russia," CNN’s Jim Sciutto said.

Standing beside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama downplayed the development, which has been viewed as a threat to the coalition seeking a deal with Iran. Previously, however, the administration made it clear they strongly objected the sale of the missile system to the Ayatollah.

The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo pointed out that the sale crossed another red line for President Obama.

"One senior Obama administration official speaking in 2010 described the S-300 sale as a ‘red line’ for the United States that ‘couldn’t be crossed, according to Foreign Policy," Kredo said.

The Obama administration official ‘made clear to Medvedev and other Russian officials that the sale of the S-300 to Iran was a red line that couldn’t be crossed."

The Iranian regime has for years wanted to get their hands on the S-300 air defense missile system. The missile system could help Iran defend their nuclear facilities from an air strike if nuclear negotiations were to fail and could lead to Iron instigating more chaos in the Middle East.

"We think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon, that this isn’t the time to be selling these kinds of system to them," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said. "So in general, that’s what our concerns are based on."

The sale is sure to help both nations currently under stiff sanctions from the United States.


"They are selling missiles to defense nuclear sites in the middle of a nuclear negotiation; that’s not nothing," Sciutto said.