Russia to Supply Advanced Air Defense System to Iran

Russia lifted a ban on selling Iran an advanced S-300 air-defense missile system as part of a larger oil-for-goods deal. Israeli officials told the Times of Israel that if the sale goes ahead, it’ll change the Mideast balance of power. More at Reuters.

Israeli officials said supply of the system to Iran could prevent any military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Channel 2 news reported.

Is the promise of 72 virgins passe? Iran is building a fleet of suicide kamikaze drones. The Washington Times picked up on a publication by the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office (pdf format, scroll down to page 9). The FMSO adds that Tehran could create problems for Israel by exporting the technology to Hezbollah.

While it is easy to dismiss the idea of a suicide drone as more symbolic than real in an age of cruise missiles and precise Predators, utilizing suicide drones is an asymmetric strategy which both allows Iran to compete on an uneven playing field and poses a risk by allowing operators to pick and choose targets of opportunity over a drone’s multi-hour flight duration.

Shahed drone
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An Iranian Shahed drone, unveiled in 2013.

The Jerusalem Post and YNet made my antennae twitch. The Israeli opposition is demanding the US commit in advance to support an Israeli strike on Iran.

Who to believe? Khamenei says the US fact sheet on the nuclear understandings “was wrong on most of the issues.”

A poll conducted by NBC News found that most Americans don’t trust Iran to abide by an agreement restricting its nuclear program. Slightly more than half the respondents also felt that the Islamic Republic’s atomic program represents a major threat to the US.

The Australian discussed Iran with former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy.

Is Iran trying to send surface-to-air missiles and other game-changer weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels? The US Navy has already stopped and searched one suspected vessel. The Wall St. Journal looks at American efforts to block Iranian arms from reaching Yemen.

Yemeni militiamen claim capture of two Iranian military officers.

More commentary/analysis on the Iranian nuclear understanding:

David Brooks: Where’s the evidence that Iran wants to change?
– Jackson Diehl: Obama rolls the dice on Iran
Eli Lake: Iran’s supreme leader gets to no
Smadar Perry: Why Khamenei prefers sanctions over an agreement

 

Featured image: drone via YouTube/epsil2;

 

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