Would a new Russian missile system make Israeli airstrikes on Iran impossible?

BLACKEAGLE

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By Noga Tarnopolsky
April 16, 2015


Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems move along a central street during a rehearsal for a military parade in Moscow, May 4, 2009. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin

Israeli responses to the news that Russia would lift a voluntary ban on the sale of weapons to Iran and provide state-of-the-art air defense systems to the Islamic Republic have ranged from concern to seeming panic.

Some experts fear that the S-300 missiles could take away Israel’s (or even the United States’) ability to easily strike nuclear targets in Iran, while Israeli officials expressed their concern that the missiles could make their way to Hezbollah, the militant Shi’ite faction that controls Southern Lebanon, on Israel’s northern border.

Others pondered what Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes to get from the announcement.

Speaking on Israel Army Radio, Zvi Magen, a former ambassador to both Ukraine and Russia, rhetorically asked “why is Russia in such a hurry?” before concluding that several things are taking place at once:

“There’s an interim deal, and Russia is worries Iran will turn [the] West and so, for several months already, they are trying to pivot the Iranians towards them, instead,” Magen said.

But even more than that, Magen said, the announcement was part of Russian posturing vis-à-vis the United States. “This is an extension of the Ukrainian crisis… Also, with Abu Mazen [the commonly used nickname of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] in Moscow the same day the Iranian thing comes up, I think we are seeing the expression of Russian desires to return to the Middle East, a more assertive, aggressive, far-reaching Russia than we’ve been seeing.”

That was the rational part of Israel talking.

Official Israel went right ahead and laid the blame for Moscow’s decision squarely on the steps of the White House. In a call to Putin, Prime Minister Netanyahu decried that “the sale of advanced weapons to Iran is the result of the dangerous agreement that is emerging between Iran and the [six world] powers. After this arms deal [for the S-300 missiles,] is there anyone who can seriously claim that the [framework] agreement with Iran will increase the security in the Middle East?”

Intelligence Affairs Minster Yuval Steinitz said that while “Iran shirks clause after clause in the framework agreement, the international community begins to ease up on it. This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is obtaining from the deal being woven with it, and it is proof that the economic momentum in Iran that will come after the lifting of the sanctions will be exploited for arming and not for the welfare of the Iranian people.”

In case anyone didn’t get the message, Israeli media blared with headlines such as “The sale of the missiles is Obama’s failure” — attributed to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who, in fact, stopped just short of mentioning the American president by name.

This might raise an eyebrow among Washington Kremlinologists who are fretting over the unraveling ties between Putin and Obama.

Meanwhile, if one man seemed amused by the contretemps, it was Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who took advantage of a tour of the Iberian Peninsula to archly prick the Israeli prime minster.

In Madrid, Zarif said “If he believes that our nuclear program is an existential threat then he should heave a sigh of relief that everyone is watching this program.”

The next day, in Lisbon, Zarif, who for many years was close to being persona non grata in European capitals, defended Russia’s action as “fully legal” and “irrelevant to the nuclear negotiations.”

Late Wednesday, Netanyahu, who was speaking at a ceremony marking Israel’s Holocaust Day, declared that “As the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and impose the rule of the superior race by exterminating the Jewish people, so Iran strives to conquer the region and reach even farther.”

With so much posturing, and so little concern for the facts at hand, it is difficult for Israelis to know whether, in fact, the Russian announcement posed a new threat to their well-being.

Confusing matters even further, Netanyahu’s government, once again through the voice of Steinitz, pronounced itself “happy” with the compromise deal achieved between the warring states of the Obama administration and U.S. Congress regarding the very same interim agreement on Iran. Steinitz went so far as to take credit for the deal: “This is an achievement for Israeli policy,” he said, once again on radio, as if he himself had negotiated on behalf of congressional Republicans.

This leaves Israelis, who elected a new government a month ago and have yet to hear of which parties and ministers it will be composed, exactly where they were before they went to vote: being yelled at about Iran, fearful of international neglect, and still too broke to even think of getting a mortgage.
Would a new Russian missile system make Israeli airstrikes on Iran impossible?
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Examining the power Russia’s S-300 missile system will give Iran
By Dan Lamothe April 13


In this undated file photo, a Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is on display at an undisclosed location in Russia. The Kremlin says Russia has lifted its ban on the delivery of a sophisticated air defense missile system to Iran. (AP Photo/File)

Russia lifted a ban on sending Iran its sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile system, officials said Monday. The weapons could be shipped shortly, giving Tehran a new way to defend itself against any future bombing campaign.

The decision was made as Iran continues to negotiate with the United States and five other world powers to curtail its nuclear program in return for an easing of sanctions.


The S-300 missile system is able to hit multiple targets at once, and is typically launched from the back of a truck. The missiles can target aircraft and missiles flying more than 16 miles high, according to specifications published by the American Federation of Scientists, a nonprofit organization that provides analysis on national security issues.

Russia signed an $800 million deal to deliver S-300s to Iran in 2007, but decided to halt the weapons delivery after the United States and Israel protested that Tehran could use them to protect its nuclear facilities. Russian officials said Monday that sending the missile system to Iran wouldn’t jeopardize security in the region.

It’s not the only time that Moscow has considered selling S-300s to a country under international scrutiny. The Kremlin seemed prepared to sell the system to Syria in 2013, but backed off under pressure. Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned at the time that doing so would prolong the conflict there. It also would have complicated any effort to impose a no-fly zone overhead using fighter jets and other aircraft.

Israeli officials also warned that if Russia completed the S-300 deal with Syria, they would use military force to ensure the system didn’t become operational.
Examining the power Russia’s S-300 missile system will give Iran - The Washington Post
 

Falcon29

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All you need to recall is our past experiences. Russia gave israel vital information regarding Egyptian and Syrian defenses. They will do it with Iran, which is why Iran will inspect everything before putting into operation. Now even if put into operation. US can jam radars and take other measures.

Again I reiterate, the fear over striking Iran is not over possible missiles striking israel or Saudi Arabia. Aftermath of Iranian response against Israel doesn't scare West. What scares them is aftermath of Saudi strike. It's because if saudi government falls, it will cause civil war but the immediate result will be more islamists. I used to be pro-Iran, but now that I realize Irans nationalist intentions I stood against them. Our Prophet said Islam will start again as it was in the beginning. Meaning the political/social system in Arab world will break down and then the people left to deal with it will be individual Muslims. The leaders at the time will be the awaited Mahdi along with other Muslims by practice who want to end oppression(cultural, pyschological, physical) and restore the consciousness of God into people. And this is what West fears and it's why they're pushing Iran attack as far as possible. However I have a feeling something bad will occur this Ramadan or shortly after Ramadan. And I advise Western Muslims to observe closely and be careful. If what I fear happens, Western Muslims need to leave back to their original homes. Converts who are white and originally Christian will be welcomed to the Muslim lands.

After doing intensive research and analysis I believe we will see a major sign in the period I stated. And I hope my fellow Arabs realize what will come out of this strife in the region, it's something that not all Arabs understand clearly. Remember if you're muslim always remember that no matter how much were infighting in our own lands right now, we are still a peoples and should rely on each other spiritually. We lack the spiritual connection we used to have but we should work to restore it.
 

Redheart

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Russian officials said Monday that sending the missile system to Iran wouldn’t jeopardize security in the region.
Depends on someone's perspective. If Israeli airstrikes would jeopardize security in the ME then Iran having the means to stop Israel would ensure that the equilibrium isn't upset. But should Iran get the S-300 Missile system who knows if their interest in building nukes won't be rekindled?
 
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