Israel pressuring Russia on sale of S-300 missiles to Iran

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that Israel’s government is preparing to send Major General Amos Gilad, a senior Defense Ministry official, to Moscow, to pressure the Russians not to sell an advanced antiaircraft system to Iran. Gilad’s visit, which will include meetings with Russian senior defense and intelligence officials, is aimed at preventing the planned sale of Russia’s advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Tehran. Military experts have warned Israel that, by purchasing and installing the S-300 system, Iran will effectively “rule out an Israeli war against Iran” by eliminating the possibility of a surprise Israeli air attack. Dan Goure, a veteran advisor to the US Department of Defense, has said that acquisition by Iran of the S-300 system “would be a game-changer in military thinking for tackling Iran” and that the system “could be a catalyst for Israeli air attacks before it [becomes] operational”. In July, investigative reported Edwin Black revealed that the Israeli Air Force conducted joint exercises with Greece, which already uses the S-300 system, in order to study its alert and detection capabilities. Meanwhile, Iranian news agency Press TV reports that the US “has deployed an advanced radar facility in Israel’s Negev desert over fears that Iran would launch a retaliatory attack” if its nuclear program is targeted by Israeli warplanes. The US radar facility “has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and is operated by a permanent 120-strong US Army staff”, the report suggests. [IA]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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