Pentagon displeased with Iran missile sale

Pentagon displeased with Iran missile sale
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The Pentagon on Tuesday gave a frosty reception to the emerging deal between Iran and Russia for missile systems.

"We don't see this as a positive development," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said at a press briefing.

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"At the same time, here at the Defense Department, again, the president will have options available to him, even if that system is put into place," he added.

Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan on Tuesday said an agreement has been reached with Russia that will allow his country to receive the S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems by the end of the year, according to local reports.

The prospective sale comes as the U.S. and five other nations are on the verge of entering an agreement with Iran that would lift all nuclear-related sanctions in exchange for limits to its nuclear program. 

President Obama is trying to preserve the Iran deal in the face of opposition in Congress. Lawmakers are expected to vote on a resolution of disapproval against the deal in September.

The Iran deal has also triggered worries among American allies in the Middle East. U.S. officials have pledged to help strengthen the military capabilities of allies in the region, to counter any increased threat from Iran in the wake of the deal. 

The systems being sold by Russia are designed to intercept missiles, and would strengthen Iran's defenses.

Pentagon officials say they oppose giving Iran any kind of advanced military technologies.

Cook said the U.S. has expressed its concerns to Russia over the sale. 

"We take the safety and security of our allies in the region seriously," Cook said. "This is something we've been tracking, and in general, we're confident in our capabilities, even if that system is sold." 

"We feel confident that the president's going to have all the options he needs," he added. 

Cook would not elaborate on what those options are.

"We understand that system, and we'll be — the president will have his options if that system is put into place. I'm going to leave it at that," he said.