A Kuwait newspaper has reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the transfer of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran due to the Iranians’ violation of an earlier pledge not to provide sophisticated Russian-made weaponry to the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
According to Al Jarida, a daily newspaper in Kuwait, Putin decided to penalize the Iranian regime after Israeli intelligence provided “evidence that Tehran had given its proxy Hezbollah SA-22 surface-to-air missiles,” which was then corroborated by Russian fighter pilots who flew over Lebanon and Syria. Russian anti-missile radars mounted on their fighters confirmed that t SA-22 systems were stashed in regions of Lebanon that are under the control of the Shi’ite militia.
This was consistent with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly this past fall about Hezbollah’s arsenal, re-stocked with the help of Iran and Syria. Netanyahu said then that Hezbollah had managed to smuggle advanced SA-22 missiles into Lebanon, as well as Yakhont surface-to-sea precision missiles. Foreign media reports from April of last year indicate that Israel’s air force attacked Hezbollah bases in Lebanon that were outfitted with SA-22.
Older SA-5 model surface-to-air missiles, presently rusting in Hezbollah’s stockpiles, are considered unreliable and ineffective. Russian-made SA-22 missiles, however, might bring down Israeli jets that otherwise operate without significant risk in Lebanese airspace. According to Al Jarida, the Kremlin has told Teheran that it has no need for their forces backing President Bashar Assad in Syria, because Russia is now seeking a political settlement that would put an end to the five-year civil war.
The Russians have reportedly told Iran that their interests are not identical when it comes to Syria. Russia canceled a contract to deliver the S-300 advanced anti-missile rocket system to Iran in 2010 in compliance with UN sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program. Tehran signed a U.S.-brokered deal on curbing its nuclear work in July last year, and international sanctions were lifted in January. However, Tehran continues to develop its military capabilities, and there is scant confidence that the Obama administration will hold the Shi’ite regime to account for its nonproliferation commitments.
The Obama Adminstration has been very lax in nearly all aspects of security concerns in the Middle-East despite members of Congress and the public angrily protesting how he has pledge to keep America safe. The political circus surrounding the Iran nuclear deal is a huge win for the Obama Administration and the public is fearful of what Iran intends to do with any weaponry it recieves. One would think the reset button given to Putin by Clinton would have been a good start to building an ally if the Middle-East went south. Well, it has gone south. But let’s not pretend Russia’s intent to suspend delivery of S-300’s to Iran means anything substantial as far as friendships go with America.
In other concerning news, just this evening it has been reported that bomb sniffing dogs discovered 2 Hellfire missiles bound for Portland, Oregon. N1 television said two guided armor-piercing missiles were discovered Saturday by a sniffer dog after an Air Serbia flight from Beirut landed at a “Nikola Tesla” Belgrade airport. The FBI in Portland said it is looking into the reports.