Skip to comments.Belarus Fronts Russian Iskander-M surface Missile Sale to Iran, Syria
Posted on 05/03/2009 4:29:27 PM PDT by lewisglad
Moscow sources disclose that the Russian, Iranian and Damascus governments have cooked up a scheme to get around Vladimir Putin's undertaking as president to refrain from selling Iran and Syria advanced Iskander-M cruise missiles: The transaction will go through Belarus.
Sources in Moscow and Minsk confirmed Sunday, May 3, that the Iskander-M sale to Tehran has gone through and negotiations are ongoing for Iran and Syria for another transaction: the sale of Russia's advanced S-300 anti-air anti-missile multi-targeting shield systems as well.
Western military sources have reported in the past that Israel cannot afford to allow this high-performance hardware enter operational service in Iran and Syria, because it would dangerously destabilizing the Middle East arms balance. Nonetheless, confirmation of the sale has come from the horse's mouth: Thursday, April 30, Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko stated: "I would like to implement top-level agreements with the government of Tehran. We will sacredly fulfill our agreements with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and expect more activity in projects earmarked for joint implementation."
Lukashenko did not specify what projects he had in mind, but military sources in Minsk and Moscow confirmed he was talking about the Iskanader-M transaction.
And a short while after he spoke, the Russian news agency Ria Novosti which has a good rapport with Kremlin officials reported: "The swiftness of relation-building between the two states (Belarus and Iran) is an indication that President Lukashenko is selling the short-range missiles to Iran.
The disclosures came shortly after Iranian defense minister Mustafa Najjar visited Moscow to press the Russians for action on the Iskander sale to Tehran.
DEBKAfile's military sources note that Moscow often uses Minsk for top-of-the-line arms sales which might embarrass Moscow diplomatically especially in the case of two such weapons going to Syria as well as Iran.
In 2005, Moscow contracted to sell Syria Iskander and S-30 systems. Part of the consignment was to be redirected from Syria to Iran. This transaction was put on ice under pressure from the United States and Israel. Now the two sales are going through via Belarus in the reverse direction: Iran will take delivery of the consignments and divert a part to Syria.
Ahmadinejad will claim the honors for announcing the breakthrough for the release of these weapons when he arrives in Damascus Tuesday, May 5, at the head of a big delegation. He has timed his visit to overshadow Israeli president Shimon Peres' meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on the same day
“Sources in Moscow and Minsk confirmed Sunday, May 3, that the Iskander-M sale to Tehran has gone through and negotiations are ongoing for Iran and Syria for another transaction: the sale of Russia’s advanced S-300 anti-air anti-missile multi-targeting shield systems as well.”
For some reason I seriously doubt that the quality of this system will be good enough to stop Israel.
Moscow sources disclose that the Russian, Iranian and Damascus governments have cooked up a scheme to get around Vladimir Putin's undertaking as president to refrain from selling Iran and Syria advanced Iskander-M cruise missiles: The transaction will go through Belarus... Russia's advanced S-300 anti-air anti-missile multi-targeting shield systems as well... In 2005, Moscow contracted to sell Syria Iskander and S-30 systems. Part of the consignment was to be redirected from Syria to Iran. This transaction was put on ice under pressure from the United States and Israel. Now the two sales are going through via Belarus in the reverse direction: Iran will take delivery of the consignments and divert a part to Syria.
Teheran Times is reporting this as well, so there is a non-Debka source.
Too far to Israel, but Most of Iraq and Afghanistan could be hit.
"According to the Moscow Centre for Strategy and Technology Analysis, the Iskander-M system was combat-tested in the 2008 South Ossetia war with Georgia and it proved highly effective in destroying military targets and infrastructure. Quoting unconfirmed reports, Moscow Defense Brief says that it was an Iskander missile that inflicted the "infamous", high precision strike on the Georgian Separate Tank Battalion base in Gori. An Iskander missile also made a direct hit on the arms depot, causing it to explode and inflicting extensive damage on the tank battalion. Russian officials have not admitted to using the Iskander missile against Georgia, but unofficial reports testify to the high effectiveness of the Iskander missiles, as one of the most devastating and accurate weapons in the Russian arsenal, the paper says.
By Konstantin Preobrazhensky
Americans generally believe that Russia is afraid of Islamic terrorism as much as the U.S.A. They are reminded of the war in Chechnya, the hostage crisis at the Beslan School in 2004 and at the Moscow Theater in 2002, and of the apartment house blasts in Moscow in 1999, where over 200 people were killed. It is clear that Russians are also targets of terrorism today.
But in all these events, the participation of the FSB, Federal Security Service, inheritor to the KGB, is also clear. Their involvement in the Moscow blasts has been proven by lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin, a former FSB Colonel. For this he was illegally imprisoned, and is now suffering torture and deprivation of medical assistance, from which he is not likely to survive.
A key distinction between Russian and American attitudes towards Islamic terrorism is that while for America terrorism is largely seen as an exterior menace, Russia uses terrorism as an object as a tool of the state for manipulation in and outside the home country. Islamic terrorism is only part of the world of terrorism. Long before Islamic terrorism became a global threat, the KGB had used terrorism to facilitate the victory of world Communism.
This leads to the logical connection between Russian and Islamic terrorism. The late Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned in London in November, 2006, told me that his former FSB colleagues had trained famous Al-Qaeda terrorists Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Juma Namangoniy during the 1980s and 1990s. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, one of the world's most wanted terrorists, has been responsible for the murder of U.S. nationals outside the United States. Before his death, Juma Namangoniy (Jumabai Hojiyev), a native of Soviet Uzbekistan, was a right-hand man of Osama bin Laden in charge of the Taliban's northern front in Afghanistan.
In 1996, Alexander Litvinenko was responsible for securing the secrecy of Al-Zawahiri's arrival in Russia, who was trained by FSB instructors in Dagestan, Northern Caucasus, in 1996-1997.
At that time, Litvinenko was the Head of the Subdivision for Internationally Wanted Terrorists of the First Department of the Operative-Inquiry Directorate of the FSB Anti-Terrorist Department. He was ordered to undertake the delicate mission of securing Al-Zawahiri from unintentional disclosure by the Russian police. Though Al-Zawahiri had been brought to Russia by the FSB using a false passport, it was still possible for the police to learn about his arrival and report to Moscow for verification. Such a process could disclose Al-Zawahiri as an FSB collaborator.
In order to prevent this, Litvinenko visited a group of the highly placed police officers to notify them in advance. "If you get information about some suspicious Arabs arriving in the Caucasus, please report it to me before informing your leadership", he told them.
Juma Namangoniy was once a student of the Saboteur Training Center of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB in 1989-91. The school was notorious for the international terrorists who matriculated from it. It now belongs to the FSB, and since only KGB staff officers were allowed to study there, Juma Namangoniy's presence clearly suggests that he was much more than a civil collaborator.
Mohammed Atta, the pilot of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague, Czech Republic, five months before the attack. But Iraqi intelligence was just a client of Russia's intelligence service. It brings a new understanding to the fact that President Putin was the first foreign President to call President Bush on 9/11. One may conjecture that he knew in advance what was to happen.
Muslim Name and Communist Heart
Tartars have always been patriotic to Russia. Their independent kingdom was conquered by Russia in the 16th century, but their gentry were allowed to join the Russian upper class and enjoy all its privileges. Even today, many Russian families of noble origin have Tartar origins. Russia has a half-millennium of experience in turning conquered Muslim nations into obedient citizens by bribing their elite.
There are many Soviet Muslims, therefore, who seem to face no conflict of spirit. One can be a Muslim in name only, whose heart belongs to Communism. There have been a lot of such people among Russian Muslims, especially among the Tartars. The Soviet Union has typically preferred to appoint them as ambassadors to Muslim countries. Their Muslim names give them a pass to the local society, but their Communist hearts order them to serve world Communism and not the world of Islam.
In the Soviet period, the highest leadership of the Muslim republics like Uzbekistan were unofficially allowed to practice Islam under the guise of folk rites, even though their Russian colleagues were severely reprimanded for participating in such Christian "rites" as Christmas or Easter. Unlike today, Soviet cartoonists were able to mock Islam as they mocked all other religions and it didn't bring any special reaction.
Muslims of the Uzbek and other Central Asian republics' elite joined the KGB intelligence in order to spy on fellow Muslim countries. In the KGB, I have met a lot of such quasi-Muslim officers.
Russia Grows Muslim
Putin continues the traditional Russian policy of giving privileges to the Muslim elite. Today's Russian Minister of Healthcare, Mikhail Zurabov, is a Chechen. His political agenda includes the total destruction of the Russian healthcare system, looking like revenge for the war in Chechnya. Putin shows no concern over that.
Strategically Russia is surrendering to the Muslim world. The Russian population is declining rapidly, being undermined by 70 years of Communist experiment and the cold indifference of post-communist rulers. Annually, Russia is losing 900 thousand people who are being replaced by Muslims from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Islam is now the second-largest religion in Russia, where it may total up to 28 million adherents. Because of this, Russia was able to join the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 2003.
Russia's great qualitative population change represents both a departure from the past and a strengthening link with it. The synergies between the history of Russia's national policies of terrorism and the radical Islamic terrorism that it is spreading around the world are natural partners that may severely impact on America's own future.
Konstantin Preobrazhensky, a former Lt. Colonel in the KGB who defected to the United States in 1993, is an intelligence expert and specialist on Japan, about which he has written six books. His newest book Russian-American, A New KGB Asset will be published in late 2007. This article was first published by Gerard Group International, Intel Analyses, 31 August 2007.
From National Public Radio (NPR):
August 29, 2006
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been visiting countries such as China, Iran and Russia as part of an effort to build a 'strategic alliance' of interests not beholden to the United States. He considers the United States his arch enemy.":
Obama, Chavez shake hands at Americas Summit:
Russia's Medvedev hails "comrade" Obama
Associated Foreign Press (AFP) ^ | April 2, 2009 | Anna Smolchenko
"Russia's Dmitry Medvedev hailed Barack Obama as "my new comrade" Thursday after their first face-to-face talks"
April 1, 2009:
"Obama, Medvedev pledge new era of relations":
It’s DEBKA. I don’t believe it.
Modified Iskander M’s can also sink US aircraft carriers in one shot.