Missiles for the Mullahs

The latest shoe to drop concerning the great Washington/Tehran pact of 2015 (honest to God, this thing has more legs than a centipede) involves a shipment of advanced SAM missiles from Russia. It appears that Vladimir Putin, that man of peace, has authorized the immediate delivery of an unknown number of batteries of S-300 missiles to Iran.

Beyond the standard exercise in pot-stirring, this represents both Iran and Russia taking an opportunity to spit in Obama’s face while the world looks on.

Secretary of State and Nobel candidate John Kerry phoned the Russian Foreign Ministry to tell them that he was utterly miffed. Obama, out on the 9th hole, couldn’t be reached.

The S-300 is a mature surface-to-air missile system in operation since the 80s. It is fully mobile – radar, command and control, and launch vehicles are all truck-mounted and can relocate immediately after a launch, making them difficult to track and target.

An S-300 battery consists of six launch vehicles, each of which can fire two missiles simultaneously. The command vehicle can control all twelve missiles while in flight. Missile range is up to 90 miles with a ceiling of nearly 100,000 feet. Later models have been optimized to take out aircraft and missiles carrying out nap-of-the-earth attacks.

This is a crackerjack system, easily the equivalent – at least as far as aircraft interception goes – to the U.S. Patriot system. Furthermore, it seems that the Iranians will be getting the latest models, which will be taken from the Russian army inventory. This will allow deliveries to be made within a matter of weeks.

There is, of course, only one purpose for sending such a system to Iran.

Much has been made of the similarities of this agreement, or whatever it’s called, to Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 betrayal of Czechoslovakia. But it also shares features with the infamous gangster pact of August 1939 between Hitler and Stalin – an utterly cynical effort to clear the way for war with everyone involved acting as if that’s not what it’s about.

Israel is steadily being pushed into a corner with only one way out. It’s difficult to believe that anybody could delude themselves about what’s coming – but of course that’s happened many times before.

There are just two things we can be sure of at this point: the first is that it’s not going to work out well for Obama. And second, we have a clear idea of when Israel will make its move: before these things can be set up and put in operation. 

The latest shoe to drop concerning the great Washington/Tehran pact of 2015 (honest to God, this thing has more legs than a centipede) involves a shipment of advanced SAM missiles from Russia. It appears that Vladimir Putin, that man of peace, has authorized the immediate delivery of an unknown number of batteries of S-300 missiles to Iran.

Beyond the standard exercise in pot-stirring, this represents both Iran and Russia taking an opportunity to spit in Obama’s face while the world looks on.

Secretary of State and Nobel candidate John Kerry phoned the Russian Foreign Ministry to tell them that he was utterly miffed. Obama, out on the 9th hole, couldn’t be reached.

The S-300 is a mature surface-to-air missile system in operation since the 80s. It is fully mobile – radar, command and control, and launch vehicles are all truck-mounted and can relocate immediately after a launch, making them difficult to track and target.

An S-300 battery consists of six launch vehicles, each of which can fire two missiles simultaneously. The command vehicle can control all twelve missiles while in flight. Missile range is up to 90 miles with a ceiling of nearly 100,000 feet. Later models have been optimized to take out aircraft and missiles carrying out nap-of-the-earth attacks.

This is a crackerjack system, easily the equivalent – at least as far as aircraft interception goes – to the U.S. Patriot system. Furthermore, it seems that the Iranians will be getting the latest models, which will be taken from the Russian army inventory. This will allow deliveries to be made within a matter of weeks.

There is, of course, only one purpose for sending such a system to Iran.

Much has been made of the similarities of this agreement, or whatever it’s called, to Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 betrayal of Czechoslovakia. But it also shares features with the infamous gangster pact of August 1939 between Hitler and Stalin – an utterly cynical effort to clear the way for war with everyone involved acting as if that’s not what it’s about.

Israel is steadily being pushed into a corner with only one way out. It’s difficult to believe that anybody could delude themselves about what’s coming – but of course that’s happened many times before.

There are just two things we can be sure of at this point: the first is that it’s not going to work out well for Obama. And second, we have a clear idea of when Israel will make its move: before these things can be set up and put in operation.