Iran hopes to purchase Russia’s S-400 air-defense systems, which thereafter would take “less than two years … to be operational," according to Bloomberg News.
While Russia has sold S-400s to China, Turkey and others in the past, there have been no official announcements, either by Iran or Russia, that Iran seeks to purchase the missile systems.
Designed by the Russian military in the 1990s, the S-400, is a surface-to-air missile system which can shoot down both missiles and aircraft. Should Iran gain this technology, Israel’s ability to make a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites would be rendered far more difficult.
Bloomberg News quoted unnamed Israeli officials saying that such an acquisition by Iran would “narrow the window for a potential strike on Tehran’s nuclear program” as observers fear the regime is positioning itself to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran and Russia have developed significant ties in recent years, which have also involved the exchange of military equipment. In 2015, Russia sold Iran several S-300s, an earlier Russian air-defense missile system, and as recently as last year – in the midst of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine – Iran provided missiles and drones to Russia.
Last Friday, U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said that Russia has offered Iran “unprecedented defense cooperation, including on missiles, electronics and air defense.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.