A diplomatic crisis is threatening Israel-Russia relations after the Kornet, a Russian-made anti-tank missile, hit an Israeli school bus driving near Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council last Thursday.
Unlike many other means of warfare the manufacturing of the Kornet is only permitted inside Russia, so any Kornet missile sold outside the country originates from the country’s KBP factory.
See also: Just Journalism
According to the Sunday Times, the purpose of Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow last month was to hand the Kremlin a list of Russian scientists Israel believes is helping Iran to build a nuclear warhead.
Another report, from opinia.us, suggests there are signs that the US State Department and the White House may have been duped by Russian propaganda experts into making the announcement of the cancellation of the Bush shield plan — to build missile defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic — on September 17. September 17 was the date of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland at the beginning of WWII.
“As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defence system that is cost-effective and proven.”
President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009
The NY Times/Washington Post “secret deal” story appears to have been yet another bit of media noise raised by Washington lobbyists pressing for a softer U.S. policy on Russia, led by those who, like Senator Charles Schumer, would like to see a return to the past. At all events, the “deal” has now been denied by the person who is supposed to have offered it.
See also: Obama’s Schumer problem
The Jerusalem Post writes that
Syrian President Bashar Assad has pledged to support Russia in its conflict with Georgia and said that Damascus was ready to consider deploying Russian Iskander missile systems in its territory, in response to the US missile shield in Europe.
Assad made the comments in an interview for Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, on the eve of his official visit to Sochi for discussions with Medvedev.
General Henry A. Obering, who heads the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, says in an interview for Radio Free Europe that he expects Iranian missiles will soon have a range to target all of Europe:
“Iran is obviously investing a lot of money in developing and fielding more and more capable missiles of longer and longer range,” Obering said. “It doesn’t make sense to me that they would be making those investments, unless they had a weapons-of-mass-destruction program to match up with that, because that would justify that investment. Without that, only flying a conventional warhead of even a thousand kilograms or whatever the payload size may be, would not make sense.”
Obering also questions why Iran, if it is only concerned about regional threats, is seeking missiles with ranges that would extend well beyond the region.
“When you reach 2,000 kilometers, that is well beyond a range that you would need for a regional conflict with Israel,” he said. “Within even 1,300 kilometers, you could reach most of the U.S. bases in the region. So it doesn’t make any sense in a regional context for them to be developing longer and longer range weapons. So I think it adds to the urgency as to why it’s important that we signed the agreement with the Czech Republic … and that we continue to make progress in the development of these capabilities.”
Labels: Europe, Europe. Russia, Iran, Missile Defence