Iran Installs Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles… Around Obama’s “Iran Deal” Site
Why would you need to protect this place from an airstrike if you’re doing what you promised?
Right after the Iran Deal was signed by President Obama — who is the only person to have signed it, as the Iranian parliament passed an alternative version that calls for the end of Israel’s nuclear program rather than their own — Russia announced the sale of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. These missiles are not Russia’s state of the art missiles, but they are good enough to be thought capable of taking down everything in Israel’s air force. In the United States, only three aircraft are thought good enough to evade them: the F-22, the F-35, and the B-2 bomber. Deploying these missiles, in other words, is a major hedge against airstrikes by either Israel or the United States on an Iranian facility.
So where are they being deployed? Right around the Fordow nuclear site.
According to research by Omri Ceren, a managing director at The Israel Project, in a factsheet distributed to journalists and others, Iran is deploying its S-300 missiles around one of the major facilities that the “Iran Deal” was supposed to neutralize. It’s underground, it’s fortified, and now it has defenses around it that are capable of neutralizing the entire Israeli air force — and most of the United States air force, to boot.
Convincing Russia to avoid an Iranian deployment of S-300 missiles was once a foreign policy achievement of which the Obama administration boasted. It was abandoned almost immediately once the Obama administration realized that the Russians were serious about defending Iran’s nuclear program, with the President himself saying that he was surprised it took so long.
Russia is now deploying air assets in Iran, as they have been doing in Syria for some time. The clear move is to ensure that the northern Middle East becomes an Iranian crescent.
Ledeen notes the “Shi’ite Freedom Army,” a kind of Iranian Foreign Legion that intends to field five divisions of between twenty and twenty-five thousand men each. Overall command will belong to Quds Force commander Qassem Suliemani, currently a major figure in the assault on Mosul, having recovered from his injury in Syriacommanding Iranian-backed militia in the war there. The fact of his freedom of movement is itself a Russian-Iranian demonstration that they will not be governed by international law: Suliemani is under international travel bans for his assassination plotagainst world diplomats, but was received inMoscowand now travels freely throughout the northern Middle East.
Turkey, meanwhile, has been effectively cut off by Iran’s and Russia’s success in the opening game of this global chess match. As late as the Ottoman Empire, the Turks looked south through Iran and Iraq to power bases as far away as Arabia. Now the Ayatollahs are going to control a crescent of territory from Afghanistan’s borders to the Levant, leaving the Turks locked out.
The war is proceeding without us. The Russians and the Iranians are locking it up. Does the US continue to have any will to act in its interests in the Middle East? Does it still know how?