Israel warns Russia on S-300
If Russia goes through with the sale of its most advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, Israel will use an electronic warfare device now under development to neutralize it and as a result present Russia as vulnerable to air infiltrations, a top defense official has told The Jerusalem Post.I would look at this threat in the context of other pressure being put on the Russians to agree to sanctions. Earlier this week, the US said it wanted to take punitive measures against Iran, while Russia said that it wanted to continue to negotiate.
A top IAF officer also said this week that Israel needed to do "everything possible" to prevent the S-300 from reaching the region.
"Russia will have to think real hard before delivering this system to Iran, which is possibly on the brink of conflict with either Israel or the US, since if the system is delivered, an EW [electronic warfare] system will likely be developed to neutralize it, and if that happens it would be catastrophic not only for Iran but also for Russia," the defense official said.
Neutralization of one of the main components of Russian air defense would be a blow to Russian national security as well as to defense exports. "No country will want to buy the system if it is proven to be ineffective," the official said. "For these reasons, Russia may not deliver it in the end to Iran."
Sources in Washington commented Wednesday night, Aug. 6, that, while it is unlikely that Israel would attack Iran without US approval, this might change if tough sanctions were taken off the table. They reported Israel was building up its strike capabilities for an attack, had purchased 90 F-16I planes that can carry enough fuel to reach Iran and would receive another 11 by the end of next year. The Jewish state had also bought two new Dolphin submarines from Germany capable of firing nuclear-armed warheads, in addition to the three already in service with its navy.Those maverick Israelis - the US can't even control them!
According to foreign media, Israel is active inside Iranian territory.
DEBKAfile reports that this information was leaked by Washington sources, apparently to warn Moscow that by closing the door to sanctions, it was opening the door to an Israeli attack.
UPDATE 4:23 PM
DEBKA is now reporting that the Russians have held up the S-300 shipment.
DEBKAfile’s military sources have confirmed after checking the story out that Moscow is withholding a consignment of advanced S-300 anti-air missile batteries promised Iran and will not send them out in the near future.Did Israel just face down the Russians? Hmm.
Sources in Washington, Moscow and Tel Aviv recently claimed that deliveries were due in early September, which would have seriously impeded a possible Israel Air Force strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.