I was just sent a worrying article about Iran and the possible Israeli strike on its reactors. There are still a couple a problems that have to be addressed. Firstly, the shortest flight path to Iran from Israel is obviously across Iraq. My reaction to that was how is this a problem, America pretty much owns that airspace? Well, according to senior journalist Ben Caspit:
Instead of the needed overflight codes, Caspit claims, the U.S. is offering Israel defensive radar—“‘We’ll help you defend yourselves, but we’ll prevent you from attacking,’ say the Americans.”
This is a real problem, Israel (nor America really) can’t abide a nuclear Iran yet at the same the same time America is directly hindering the operation, I still don’t understand that. However later on in the article it becomes a little clearer.
A security source told Caspit that “the Americans have accepted a nuclear Iran and are trying to get us [Israel] to accept it.”
Personally, I don’t believe that. America must know that a nuclear Iran is bad news for everybody, not just Israel. However, moving on to a more a serious problem. Further on in the article a bombshell is dropped:
Britain’s Sunday Telegraph reports that both the U.S. and Israel now fear that Russia stands to supply the sophisticated S-300 air-defense system to Iran in retaliation for Washington supporting NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine.
More information from this article titled Israel’s Red Line: The S-300 Missile System:
Although on July 9 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates denied the possibility of Iran acquiring the missile — known as the S-300PMU-1 by its Russian designers — “anytime soon,” defense reporters have speculated widely that the operational deployment of the S-300 air-defense system would represent a “red line” for an Israeli air strike on Iran. This is because the SA-20/S-300 represents a nearly insurmountable obstacle for conventional aircraft, according to air power experts.
“For non-stealth aircraft, the SA-20 represents a virtual no-fly zone,” said retired United States Air Force General Richard E. Hawley.
Additionally, the SA-20 is much more resistant to electronic countermeasures that are typically used by strike aircraft to defeat such weapons and is capable of engaging targets with far smaller radar cross-sections.
Should Iran obtain Russian S-300 missiles along with their mobile launchers, such as this one bearing four S-300-capable missile tubes, the Israel Defense Forces may be unable to mount a successful attack against any Iranian military nuclear facility. Credit: Russian Federation Ministry of Defense [Source for image here]
This is a HUGE development if it is true because it means that Israel may be well and truly screwed in that sense. Their only hope is for an F-22 Raptor which is almost impossible to detect, expect the only country that has these is America and they are not allowed to export them. Israel may have to rely on America for this one.
However it’s not all bad news, first we have an awesome quote from former Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh (head of a new political party started by himself called Strong Israel)
Sneh told them [Switzerland and Austria – both of which have large invesments in the resource sector of Iran] it was “too bad” about their investments, “because Iddo’s going to set it all on fire”—referring to recently appointed Israeli air force chief Iddo Nehushtan. “‘Investing in Iran in 2008,’ Sneh told the Austrians, ‘is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, a high-risk investment.’ The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale.”
Now for some good news, Iran’s economy is supposedly down in the doldrums.
As Ahmadinejad increases subsidies and spending, inflation has become Iran’s chief domestic issue. While the government acknowledges an inflation rate of 18 percent, parliamentarians and central bank officials say the real rate is closer to 25 or 30 percent.
Privatization schemes have also languished. While announcements of impending factory privatizations are many, sales are few. The reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd observed, “The misguided policies of the government hit us harder than the sanctions of the foreigners.”
I’m no economist so I’m not going to comment directly on these issues, all I can say is that I hope this impacts on their foreign military spending, maybe that S-300 will remain just a rumour…