Iranian official: Russia started missile deliveryMP Email Kosari says Moscow has begun delivering air defense systems that could help repel any Israeli, US air strikes
|Russia has begun delivering S-300 air defense systems to Iran which could help repel any Israeli and US air strikes on its nuclear sites, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.
"After few years of talks with Russia ... now the S-300 system is being delivered to Iran," IRNA quoted Email Kosari, deputy head of parliament's Foreign Affairs and National Security committee, as saying.
Kosari did not say when the deliveries began. Iran's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report.
Last week Amos Gilad, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry's Security-Diplomatic Bureau, landed in Moscow to convey Israel's opposition to the deal. While in Russia, Gilad was also expected to address the possible sale of weapons to Syria and the flow of arms through Syria to Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon.
The United States, its European allies and Israel say Iran is seeking to build nuclear arms under the cover of a civilian atomic energy program. Iran denies the charge.
Israel's insistence that Iran must not be allowed to develop an atomic bomb has fueled speculation that the Jewish state, widely assumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, could mount its own pre-emptive strikes.
'No capability to make nuclear weapons'In October Russia's Foreign Ministry denied media speculation that Moscow would sell the medium-range S-300 system, adding Moscow had no intention of selling weapons to "troubled regions." But Russia's RIA news agency last week quoted "confidential sources" as saying that Russia was fulfilling a S-300 contract with Iran. The most advanced version of the S-300 system can track targets and fire at aircraft 120 km (75 miles) away. It is known in the West as the SA-20. Russian arms sales and nuclear cooperation with Iran have strained relations with Washington, which says Tehran could use them against their interests in the region and also against its neighbors. Russia, building Iran's first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr, says Tehran does not have the capability to make nuclear weapons. Ali Waked contributed to this report
Israeli government again backs down as Gaza missile war boils over
DEBKAfile Special Report
December 21, 2008, 7:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
Sderot: Living in mortal fear
No military action to stamp out the Palestinian missile blitz against southwestern Israel will be undertaken before "international support" is organized and an attempt to renew the "ceasefire" with Hamas is undertaken. That was the gist of the Israeli cabinet's decision Sunday morning, Dec. 21, after Palestinian terrorists fired eight missiles and mortar shells at Israeli civilian locations, continuing the blitz launched before and after Hamas ended its six-month "truce" Friday.
Israeli helicopters struck three missile teams preparing to fire near the north Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. But the missiles kept coming - 17 by midday.
The ministers pushing hard for harsh military action gave way to prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak's decision to continue the foot-dragging. Neither was perturbed by being accused of letting Hamas and its terrorist partners get away almost scot-free with waging a cross-border war against a large Israeli civilian population.
Cold shouldered by Olmert and Barak, foreign minister Tzipi Livni announced that if she were elected prime minister her government would wipe out the Hamas regime in Gaza.
Sunday, two people were hurt when a missile blast wrecked a Sderot home and a second struck the Netiv Haasara greenhouses injuring a foreign worker. The town of Ashkelon took four hits, two exploding in the city's industrial estate and two outside strategic facilities on the Mediterranean shore.
Schoolchildren were told to stay in their classrooms and forbidden the playground. Magen David Adom's first aid services are on high alert at all the locations within range of Gaza after the population spent Saturday ducking 15 Palestinian missiles and 26 mortar rounds. There were no injuries but the damage to property was considerable.
Hamas leaders have gone into hiding in the smuggling tunnels honeycombing the southern Gaza Strip in case Israel goes back to targeted assassinations.
Hamas: If Israel wants to invade Gaza Strip, then by all means Despite increasing calls among Israeli ministers of a need to launch a military operation to tackle the escalating threat of rocket attacks on the southern border, Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip seemed unperturbed, with one senior member even daring Israel to take the action.
Bibi: Israelis can't count on miracles During a tour of Sderot on Sunday, Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu said, "We'll give our full support to the government if it moves towards an active policy against Hamas in Gaza." Video
- slideshow: Gaza flare-up
|Published:||12.21.08, 16:32 / Israel News|