White House concerned about Russian arms going to Iran

White House concerned about Russian arms going to Iran

The Obama administration is concerned by Russia’s decision to lift its ban on delivering a missile defense system to Iran, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

"Obviously, we have expressed our concerns directly to the Russians,” Earnest said. He said the administration's sentiments had been relayed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryKentucky basketball coach praises Obama after golf round: 'He is a really serious golfer' The enemy of my enemy is my friend — an alliance that may save the Middle East Democratic governors fizzle in presidential race MORE.

On Monday, Russia announced that it was lifting the ban on delivering already-ordered S-300 anti-rocket missiles to Iran. The ban had gone into effect in 2010.

The Russians have been eager to end the ban if Iran reached a deal with Western powers over its nuclear program. Earlier this month, the negotiating teams reached a framework agreement that would require Iran to limit its nuclear research and development in return for lifting sanctions.

The countries have until this summer to finalize the deal.

Earnest said that the decision would have no bearing on the ongoing nuclear talks with the Iranian government.

“The concerns that we have, though, while significant, are separate and apart from the ongoing negotiations that are aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said. “While it’s a substantial concern, it’s not a concern that’s directly tied to the ongoing nuclear negotiations.”