According to Ethan Bronner in Bloomberg, Iran is seeking to acquire Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. The advanced systems could make it more difficult for the Israeli air force to target Iranian nuclear facilities. Bronner reports that the prospect of such an acquisition could make Israel decide to attack Iranian facilities earlier than planned. Bronner writes:
Russia hasn’t said publicly if it will supply the weapons, but Moscow and Tehran have drawn closer since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. It would take less than two years for the S-400s to be operational.
“The longer you wait, the harder that becomes,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of a strike on Iran at a security conference in Tel Aviv last week. “We’ve waited very long. I can tell you that I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
Such open threats — daily occurrences now in Israel — are a complex mix of intent and messaging aimed at Tehran and Washington although Israel bombed nuclear sites in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007. An open military conflict with Iran could trigger an unparalleled regional conflagration affecting global oil supplies.
Russia has offered Iran “unprecedented defense cooperation, including on missiles, electronics and air defense” and may provide Tehran with fighter jets, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last Friday.
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