Esmaeil Kosari, deputy head of the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs and national security commission, recently announced that Russia had started supplying components for S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran. The sophisticated S-300 missile defense system is capable of intercepting 100 ballistic missiles or aircraft at once within a range of over 90 miles at low and high altitudes. They are also effective against cruise missiles and, because of their range, a danger to non-combat aircraft such as AWACS planes, stand-by rescue planes, and other planes with protective missions.
Iran’s defense minister, Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, also verified such delivery, adding that Tehran would elaborate on the missile defense system “when the occasion presents itself.”
The U.S. administration’s failure to serve notice to Russia after its delivery of the TOR M-1 air defense system earlier this year to Iran has emboldened Russia to disregard the international community’s will in stopping Iran from its pursuit of building a nuclear bomb. The mullahs who rule over Iran will soon have the means to protect their nuclear sites against any possible attacks by Israel or the United States. Revolutionary Guards personnel were sent to Russia to train on the S-300 system, so when the missile system was delivered to Iran, the Guards personnel were ready for its deployment.
Iran, which has defied the world and the UN Security Council with the continuation of its uranium-enrichment process, is also expanding its ballistic missile program, which currently is capable of targeting Tel Aviv, Riyadh, U.S. bases in Iraq, and the Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. Now with these new air defense systems, Iranian leaders feel more protected in their pursuit of a nuclear bomb.
When I worked as a spy for the CIA in the Revolutionary Guards, I reported on Moscow’s cooperation with the mullahs in establishing their intelligence infrastructure and providing military help in the mullahs’ confrontation with the West. The Russians and the mullahs share one common goal: the end of U.S. superiority and influence in the Middle East and the world. Therefore, any collaboration between the two that undermines the U.S. and the West both financially and militarily is seen as a legitimate act, and it is with this in mind that Russia will back Iran in its pursuit of nuclear arms to destabilize the balance of power in the Middle East; embolden Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syria; and bring fear among U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf.