Russia could supply Iran with a top new missile system if the United States pushes NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine.
U.S. intelligence says that Russia has threatened to sell Iran the sophisticated S-300 air defense system, London’s Sunday Telegraph reported.
The news has raised alarms in the United States and Israel since the system can track 100 targets at once and fire on targets from up to 75 miles, the newspaper said.
Pentagon advisor Dan Goure told the Telegraph that the deal would be a “game-changer. This is a system that scares every Western air force.”
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said they believe that Russia will use the weapons sale versus U.S. support for Russia’s pro-Western neighbors as a foreign policy showdown with the new U.S. president, the Telegraph reported. Both Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and presumptive Republican candidate John McCain back NATO membership for Georgia.
Last week, Russia offered sophisticated weaponry to Syria following U.S. condemnation of its incursion into Georgia.
Goure said the sale could spark a unilateral Israeli air raid on Iran.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.