Russia pulls S-300 missiles

Last week Russia announced that it will not after all deliver a batch of S-300 missiles to Iran. This is a major success for Israeli efforts to prevent this delivery.  PM Netanyahu had previously managed to get Pres. Putin to delay the delivery of these very dangerous missiles to Iran for some years.  But, eventually, after the nuclear deal between Iran and other world powers, including Russia, and the current cooperation between Russia and Iran fighting on the same side of Pres. Assad in Syria, Putin announced that the missiles would finally be delivered.  But, there was a catch, Russia insists that these advanced missiles not be transferred to any other State or organization.  This requirement also applies to all other advanced Russian missile systems.

Israel was able to prove to the Russians that in fact Iran had transferred previous deliveries of Russian missiles to Hizbollah fighting in Syria against among others the US Air Force.  What would happen if a Russian missile was used by Hizbollah to shoot down a US warplane?  It could result in a very dangerous situation.  The US would be forced to retaliate and this could have serious consequences.  So Putin was convinced that the Iranians had lied to him and had betrayed their trust.  This gave him an excuse and in fact a need to cancel the delivery of these even more advanced missiles to Iran.  This is a major success for an Israeli diplomatic initiative.

Although we spend a lot of time worrying about the PR situation of Israel in the world and the growth of anti-Israel sentiment, let’s be real.  This one success of PM Netanyahu is more important for the security and safety of Israel than all the PR successes we might achieve.


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