T Nation

WW3 In the Making



Russia Agrees to Sell Missiles to Iran
By HENRY MEYER, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW -- Russia has struck a deal to sell short-range, surface-to-air missiles to Iran, the defense minister said Monday, confirming reports that have raised concern in the United States and Israel.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov didn't give details. But Russian media have said that Moscow agreed in November to sell $1 billion worth of weapons to Iran, including up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems over the next two years.

"A contract for the delivery of air defense Tor missiles to Iran has indeed been signed," Ivanov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"This unequivocally will not change the balance of forces in the region," Ivanov added. Tor M1 missiles are short-range, surface-to-air missiles already used by several other armed forces, including China.

The reports last week prompted expressions of concern from the U.S administration and Israel, which considers Iran to be its biggest threat. Israeli concerns recently were heightened after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged that Israel be "wiped off the map."

Top politicians in Israel have ratcheted up the tough talk against Iran, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called for a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear installations. Such a strike would be similar to a 1981 attack, ordered by then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin, that destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor.

"I will continue the tradition established by Menachem Begin, who did not allow Iraq to develop such a nuclear threat against Israel, and by a daring and courageous act gave us two decades of tranquility," Netanyahu told the daily newspaper Maariv. "I believe that this is what Israel has to do."

Interfax said the Tor-M1 system could identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 20,000 feet.

On Saturday, an influential Iranian official played down the deal, telling the official Islamic Republic News Agency that Tehran has been trading arms with many countries and would continue to do so.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, without commenting on the reported missile sale, also said Saturday that all Russian weaponry supplied to Iran is purely for defensive purposes.

However, a senior Bush administration official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the subject, said last week that any arms sale to Iran is a source of concern. The official would not say whether Russia had advised the United States of any negotiations with Iran.

The United States and Russia are supporting efforts by the European Union to persuade Iran to halt development of nuclear weapons in exchange for economic incentives, such as trade opportunities.

Russia, which has a long and lucrative relationship with Iran, has offered to try to resolve a key dispute by offering to enrich uranium for an Iranian civilian nuclear energy program as a safeguard against Iran using enrichment for weapons purposes. .


If Israel decides to pre-emptively strike at Iran, they should be informed by us that they will have to defend themselves from any counter attacks. Maybe they'll think again. They're like a yippy little Chihuahua with a Rottweiller for a best friend.

Second, in regard to arms sales from these other countries, i.e. Russia, maybe some type of amnesty program would be effective. These countries are obviously strapped for money, so selling weapons/nuclear material seems like a viable solution to some of their economic problems. Why don't WE buy them and destroy them? I think rational governments would go for this, surely they recognize the threat posed by the countries they're selling to. We would just need to figure out how to avoid being extorted.

I realize this is a simplistic solution that isn't fleshed out, but it may be a starting point for interesting discussion.


The Russians selling Iran weapons pisses me off.

Russia is not an ally. You think they would no better because they have their own Islamic based problem but they don't give a shit about anything.



It's called money. I think you'll find that we like to make money too...


Chechyna's Islamicism is only a part of the equation. There are many Islamic regions within Russia that aren't seeking to secede.


AZ - I don't know you, but Israel's last pre-emptive strike has been applauded by the U.S. for years. Israel is surrounded by enemies and that little Chihuahua, as you put it, has proven to be pretty tough and resourceful. When your neighbors want you exterminated, sometimes you need to take actions that are deemed by others to be a little extreme. I can assure you that if Israel makes a pre-emptive strike, it will be with the full knowledge and support of the U.S., whether the U.S. opts to publicly acknowledge that fact or not.


I predict the Israeli's will hit Iran within the next year to 18 mos.

No way do they wait for the announcement that the Iranians have a workable bomb.

This system, although modern for Russia, China and Iran, has no doubt,already been countermeasured by the US and Israel. The most relaibale way to defend against aircraft is with other aircraft.


They are tough and resourceful BECAUSE of us. Where do you think Israel would be today without the U.S. backing it up?

Of course, any move they make on an international level would have to have our blessing. Everyone knows that. If any action is taken, it should be taken by us. Any "pre-emptive" military action by Israel only fuels the fire.


They are tough and resourceful BECAUSE of us. Where do you think Israel would be today without the U.S. backing it up?

Of course, any move they make on an international level would have to have our blessing. Everyone knows that. If any action is taken, it should be taken by us. Any "pre-emptive" military action by Israel only fuels the fire.[/quote]

AZ - They were tough and resourceful long before we were there to help them. Sure, it helps having the U.S. stand behind you, but guess what, we have a vested interest in Israel too, so the thing slices both ways. The Arabs feel that the land "stolen" from them should be returned. War sucks, doesn't it? Especially when you lose (and they lost without the U.S. getting involved). The Israelis basically fight for their survival every day. Maybe they are the real T-Nation.


Pound per pound Isreal is one of the deadliest and most effective military entities in the world.

They have been fighting the Arab states and terrorism before we knew what they were. You are totally wrong to say this.


Per capita, Israel could most likely whup our asses. You're 100% wrong.


Pound for Pound Chihuahuas are pretty tough too.

Unfortunately, we don't live in a pound-for-pound world.


Anyone else remember that the U.S government sold fighter jets to Pakistan a little while ago. A terrorist friendly nation with nuclear weapons.


Nice - gave me a quiet giggle. Even if you didn't mean to.


Not if we stop subsidizing their military:-)


The UAE is one of the biggest purchasers of US military equipment. Israel has an out-fucking-standing military.


That's true, but don't underestimate how much we give them.




not to mention last time i checked they have the best military pilots in the world there special forces and regulars are in the top 5


Back to the supposed issue of WWIII...

U.S. Official Says Iran 'Very Aggressive'
WASHINGTON - Iran is closing in on production of nuclear weapons and even U.N. sanctions may not deter the aggressive government in Tehran, a top State Department official said Friday.

Describing the Iranian government as "very aggressive, very determined to develop nuclear weapons," Robert Joseph, undersecretary for arms control and international security, dismissed Iran's contention that it seeks only civilian nuclear power.

"We know this is not the case," Joseph said at the University of Virginia's Miller Center in Charlottesville.

Iran has methodically taken all but one last step to turn out nuclear weapons, he said. "Once they begin to enrich, that is the point of no return."
Anyway, I've said it before and I'll say it again, though it probably isn't a liberal stance. Iran has shown itself to be a country with a bad attitude and a serious agenda.

If there is a government in the Middle East that really needed to be taken out after Afghanistan, I think Iran should have been it.

I think terrorist attacks will find US troops no matter where they are in the Middle East. By this I mean that the fact there are attacks in Iraq doesn't mean that Iraq represents a serious terrorist haven.

Of course, if the government falls and Iraq descends into anarchy, that would certainly change.