Kerry raises Iran missile ban during call with Russian counterpart

Kerry raises Iran missile ban during call with Russian counterpart
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Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryClimate policies propel a growing dysfunction of Western democracies Kerry calls out countries that need to 'step up' on climate change Those on the front lines of climate change should be empowered to be central to its solution MORE objected to Moscow’s decision to lift a ban on delivering air defense missiles to Iran during a call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the White House said Monday.

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Press secretary Josh Earnest would not reveal details of the call between Kerry and Lavrov, but said Kerry signaled U.S. concern over Russia’s actions.

“Russia understands the United States certainly takes very seriously the safety and security of our allies in the region,” Earnest told reporters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles in the wake of a preliminary nuclear agreement reached by Iran and six world powers, including the U.S. and Russia.

The missile deliveries have been banned under United Nations sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program. If Iran obtains the weapons, it could bolster their defenses against a potential attack on its nuclear sites.

Russia has been eager to begin doing business with Iran following the adoption of the framework agreement.

Earnest also said the U.S. is concerned about a proposed oil-for-goods deal being negotiated between Moscow and Teheran because it could undermine a set of international sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. has argued those sanctions should be removed slowly as Iran proves it is abiding by the terms of a final nuclear agreement. But Iran has said the sanctions should be undone once a deal is reached.