The United States would object to the sale of Russian fighter jets to Iran, a State Department spokesman said on Thursday.
Iran's reported desire to purchase some of the planes, which are similar to American F-15 E fighters, would violate a United Nations Security Council resolution, said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
Toner cited a resolution that requires Tehran to first win Security Council approval before acquiring certain conventional weaponry, such as the disputed planes. The resolution was adopted as part of the United Nations' acceptance of the nuclear deal Iran struck with six world powers.
"All member states, especially those that negotiated and presented" the resolution, "should be fully aware of these restrictions," Toner stated.
Russia was one of the six countries that agreed to and helped write the nuclear treaty and accompanying U.N. resolutions.
"If the media reports are accurate, we will address it bilaterally with Russia and with the other members of the U.N. Security Council," Toner stated.
A senior administration official noted that the ban is effective until 2020.
If the international community allowed such a sale to go through, it would bolster Republican arguments that President Obama gave away too much in negotiations with Iran, and that Tehran used the opportunity to modernize its aging hardware, and use assets unfrozen as part of the deal to pay for it.
"The U.N. resolution to endorse the flawed Iran nuclear deal actually gives the United States and other members of the Security Council the power to review and legally block arms sales by Russia or other actors to Iran," Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., stated on Thursday. "But as Russia and Iran further escalate their use of indiscriminate military force in the Middle East, the administration appears wholly unwilling to use this power."