President Barack Obama says U.S. weapons could penetrate Iran's defenses if necessary, even if Russia delivers S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Tehran.
Obama said in an MSNBC interview on April 21 that the United States continues to object to Russia's plans to sell the high-precision missiles to Iran.
But he said, "Even if they’ve got some air-defense systems, if we had to, we could penetrate them.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week lifted the country's 5-year-old ban on supplying Iran with S-300s air-defense missile system, paving the way to conclude a long-delayed contract.
The move raised concern that such sales could embolden Tehran in talks with leading world powers about curbing its nuclear program, which Western countries fear may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
The United States has not ruled out possible military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails.