Change: Russia to sell S-300 to Iran
Several years ago, we heard a lot about the on-again-off-again sale of the S-300 anti-missile system by Russia to Iran. Now, with the 'framework agreement' between the P 5+1 and Iran, Russia has announced that the sale is on again. Russia is removing a ban on the sale that was imposed by Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, because after all, 'everyone knows' that the sanctions against Iran are going to be lifted.
The Russian foreign ministry says that the sale of the S-300 to Iran doesn't threaten Israel or other regional countries.
#Lavrov : S-300 systems do not threaten Israel, other regional countries http://t.co/FDDEE7pSdWNo, of course it doesn't. It just makes an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities that much harder to carry out.
— MFA Russia (@mfa_russia) April 13, 2015
Here in Jerusalem, the government is furious, blaming the sale (correctly) on the 'framework agreement.'
Cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz said the framework agreement helped legitimize Iran and cleared the way for Monday's announcement by Russia.
"This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran obtained from the emerging nuclear deal," he said. Steinitz added that the arms deal shows that Iran plans to use the relief from economic sanctions to buy weapons, not improve the living conditions of its people.Why would anyone have thought otherwise?
In the meantime, US Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be 'raising objections' - but not 'deeply concerned' which is a different level altogether and is largely reserved for Israeli actions - about the deal.
Secretary of State John Kerry is raising objections with Moscow over a plan to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.
The White House says Kerry made the U.S. opposition clear in a phone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf). The call came as Lavrov argued that a preliminary agreement over Iran's nuclear program made a 2010 ban on sending missiles to Iran no longer necessary.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest indicated the move could endanger plans to ultimately lift sanctions on Iran as part of a final nuclear deal. He says unity and coordination with nations like Russia is critical to the success of the negotiations.
But Kerry's chief negotiator and military tactician, the 'brilliant' Wendy Sherman, says that a military strike on Iran wouldn't succeed anyway.The agreement is supposed to be finalized by June 30. There is no firm agreement yet on how or when to lift the international sanctions on Iran.
Sherman told the reporters that a military operation against Iran would not stop its nuclear program. "A military strike by Israel or the U.S. would only set back the nuclear program by two years," she said. "You can't bomb their nuclear know-how, and they will rebuild everything. The alternatives are there but the best option is a diplomatic negotiated solution."Well, yeah, you assume that they have the resources with which to rebuild and they are left alone to do so. But why would anyone assume that to be true?
What could go wrong?