S-300 to Iran, Yet Again

You’re probably sick of “this topic”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1672/dreaming-of-an-s-300-belarus-edition by now and you’ve likely seen this most recent “Russian denial of intent to sell the system to the Iranians”:http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3764075&c=EUR&s=TOP.

Nevertheless, just wanted to note that, according to Interfax, on 6 October, Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General for Russia and CIS Countries Pinhas Avivi confirmed to journalists something that I’ve figured was the case all along.

bq. “*[Israel has] a covert agreement with Russia that it would not sell offensive armaments to Iran and Syria*… [The agreement] stipulates Russia’s avoidance of steps that might change the balance of forces [in the Middle East].”

Avivi also reportedly stated that

bq. “The Israeli and Russian foreign ministries are permanent consultations with representatives of defense agencies. *The sides decide which weaponry can be called defensive and which can be called offensive at the consultations*.”

In addition, Avivi reportedly noted that Israel did not supply _offensive_ arms to Georgia as a quid pro quo for a Russian promise not to supply _offensive_ arms to Iran (or Syria). If one follows this logic, though, it seems that the Russians have went along with the Israeli argument that “UAVs sold to Georgia”:http://www.wmdinsights.org/I26/I26_RU1_Downing.htm are considered _defensive_, while the S-300s to Iran and Syria are considered _offensive_ by both sides. Weird.

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