Countdown: Israel-Iran Arms Race

Gallo/Getty

Gallo/Getty

By Al Jazeera

As mutual fear, mistrust and polarisation increases between Iran and Israel, an arms race between the two sworn enemies is gathering momentum.  Central to this is the Russian-made S-300 missile system.

It is one of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft missile systems in the world today and air power experts say it represents a formidable defence against conventional aircraft.

In 2005, Iran sought to buy five batteries of the S-300 from Russia in a deal believed to be worth around $800 million.

The S-300 would significantly boost Iran’s defence capability at a time when it is concerned about the US military’s presence in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan and Israeli threats to target its nuclear facilities.

But the S-300 deal has yet to go through and Israel has been engaging in some diplomatic wrangling in an attempt to ensure that it does not.

In early June 2009, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Russian-speaking foreign minister, visited Moscow.

He was on a mission to convince Russia to put an end to its arms deals with Iran and Syria and, in particular, to halt the sale and delivery of Russia’s S-300 missile system to Iran.

Lieberman had a bargaining chip: If Russia went ahead with the sale to Iran, Israel might continue to provide hi-tec weapons to neighbouring Georgia, which engaged Russia in a war last year.

Filmmaker Abdallah el-Binni investigates this high-stakes game of brinkmanship as it threatens to spread to other countries in the region.

Countdown can be seen from Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 1900; Thursday: 0300, 1400; Friday: 0600. [Eastern: Wed. 3 pm and 11 pm; Thursday 10 am; Friday 2 am]

5 responses to “Countdown: Israel-Iran Arms Race

  1. DysfunctionalParrot

    Just sell Israel some F-22’s and make the S-300 obsolete on the spot. That is if Obama can bring himself to man-up and do it.

    http://dysfunctionalparrot.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/obama-to-israel-screw-you/

  2. I would prefer that Russia sell Iran the missles…. one more possible means for Iran to resist the evil Empire.

    btw… Obama does not call the shots on anything. He is an owned puppet just as each president since JFK has been an owned puppet of the elites. The Western, post-colonialists seek to assimilate the middle east in its entirety … then, Central Asia. And in the course of trying to accomplish that, WW III will be engaged.

  3. This assimilation Richard costs $. Where is it coming from?

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4ffa310a-81e1-11de-9c5e-00144feabdc0.html

  4. I ain’t paying for it. Will likely not suffer for it (yet). Cannot believe the arms build up… in South America, and Africa, too.

    The US and China seem to be maneuvering for dominance, competing for Africa and the Latin quadrant, while we prove our inability to sustain the Middle East wars.

    trillions… what is that to me who thinks in terms of a living wage (which I don’t earn).

    And yet Russia and Iran present another serious component to the mix.

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