Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to Russia this week on a state visit which he says will be aimed at convincing Moscow to support “crippling sanctions” against Iran.
With Israeli officials increasingly expressing doubt over the military’s ability to successfully attack Iran, the Netanyahu government seems to be focusing on convincing the international community to destroy Iran’s economy through sanctions.
Netanyahu will also likely press Russia on its planned sale of S-300 missiles to Iran. Russia signed a deal years ago to supply Iran with the S-300 but has yet to make delivery, though officials indicated today that they intend to.
As purely defensive weapons systems, the S-300 would not be covered by any of the sanctions in place, but Israel and other western officials have expressed concern that the missiles would shore up Iran’s air defense enough to make Western attacks on the nation extremely difficult.
Israel claimed at one point to have a secret “electronic warfare device” that would neutralize all S-300s in both Iran and Russia if the sale was made, but they later pressed for the sale to be stopped by claiming Iran would destroy Israel if it had a viable air defense. It is unclear what tack Netanyahu will made on his visit, or if it will even be made public.
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