Russian Missiles, Iran, Israel and Georgia
23 April, 2015
On the 13th of April, Russian President signed a deal which is going to affect strategic interests of multiple countries, including Iran, Israel and even Georgia. Namely, Vladimir Putin removed the embargo on sale of Russian surface-to-air S-300 missile complexes to Iran, which took the Israeli government by complete surprise. Nobody in Tel Aviv expected the country that they considered a partner to sell these powerful weapons to Iran, whom they consider their prime enemy.

WikiLeaks also claims that Israel
gave Russia the control codes for the Hermes-450 scouting drones that it sold to Georgia

Everything began in 2007, when Iran received an $800 million contract on purchase of five batteries of S-300 PMU-1 anti-aircraft missile systems. Back then, Tehran absolutely needed anti-aircraft systems with a range of at least 150km and altitude reach of 27km. It would allow Iran to control and, if needed, close the air space above its nuclear reactors and other important objects.
Israel has been suspicious of Iran’s nuclear program for a very long time, to the point of preparing tgeotv.geo conduct airstrikes on objects where, according to Tel Aviv, nuclear weapon components were being assembled. Israeli aviation performed one such airstrike in 1981, destroying an Iraqi nuclear reactor near Baghdad that was on the verge of getting put into operation. However, repeating such a trick in Iran will be very costly (if at all possible) for Israel if Iran’s airspace becomes protected by systems such as the S-300. This is the reason why Tel Aviv spent the last few years in search of means of preventing of S-300s from appearig in Iran.

Israel stopped selling arms to Georgia in hopes that it would stop Russia from selling S-300 missile complexes to Iran. Apparently, they were wrong.

According to information divulged by WikiLeaks, Russia and Israel struck a secret agreement in 2010, according to which the former would not supply S-300s to Iran and pay up to a billion USD for technologies Israel uses to produce scouting drones. In exchange for this, Moscow’s request was for Israel to stop military cooperation with Georgia. This mainly concerned supplying missile and rocket systems such as Spyders and LAR-160, the bite of which was painfully felt by both Russian infantry and pilots in 2008.
geotv.geWikiLeaks also cla­ims that Israel handed the control codes for Hermes-450 scouting drones that it sold to Georgia over to Russia; this allegedly led to three of these drones getting brought down over occupied Abkhazian territory. It is up to the reader to decide whether to believe WikiLeaks or not, but the fact remains that Russia suddenly backtracked on its S-300 contract in 2010, despite Iran having already paid for them.

“Moscow’s most harshly worded request was for Israel to stop military cooperation with Georgia”

Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev explained that this sudden change of heart was owed to sanctions against Iran implemented by the UN Security Council; however, the sanctions only forbade Iran to obtain offensive weaponry, while S-300s are classified as defensive. Nobody visibly forced Moscow’s hand in this, but it was still decided to put the deal on hiatus.
This way or that, Russian S-300s will appear in Iran this year, which will signify the burial of Israel’s hopes for precision strikes.
Israel was left empty-handed – it both shared cutting-edge technologies with Russia and failed to prevent Iran getting hold of Russian missile systems. Moreover, Russia utilized the technology it was given to create rather powerful recon drones, which see a lot of action in both assisting separatists in Ukraine and spying on Georgia’s ground forces.
Israeli media has recently published a rumor of possible resumption and establishment of arms dealing with Georgia and Ukraine, respectively, in case Putin keeps his word to Iran and delivers the missile systems.