Shockwaves In Israel, Caution In India, As China Pushes Russia To Sell Its S-400s To Iran

Iran and Russia have been on the same page since the last seven decades but more recently in Syria where both the powers intervened and managed to save the Assad regime. 

Iran had always been in the Soviet Bloc; it never condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and also thus, invited the double-wrath of Arab states who were paranoid of the Iranian revolution (of 1979) and it was thought that, the revolution could have engulfed the entire Gulf region.

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The Gulf-states in order to thwart the revolution spent billions of dollars and even launched a war on Iraq through the US. In the last 40 years, the region has only witnessed deaths, mayhem, destruction and unprecedented misfortunes on its populace.  

But, the turn of events has made Afghan-Taliban pally with Russia and Iran. The US is on the verge of leaving Afghanistan after its ultimate humiliation as it had to sign a deal with the same Taliban it had fought for 19 years, as US president has announced that US soldiers would be back by Christmas.

Russia has now announced, even while Armenia-Azerbaijan war is going on, that it would sell its anti-missile system S-400 to Iran after the UN embargo on Iran ends on October 18, 2020.

However, this news was to stir the hornets’ nest in Israel which considers itself as the sole super-power in the Gulf region. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin a ‘happy-birthday’ and although there has been no official statement from his office, yet it goes without saying that Israel would oppose the sale of S-400 to Iran like the way it had done unsuccessfully with the S-300s.

Israel is actually deterred by the thought that the days of it ‘remaining invisible’ seem to be numbered, for the way its cyberattack on Iran nuclear site in Natanz and its F-35 stealth bombers hit a missile base in Iran, as reported by TimesofIsrael on  July 3, 2020, had remained untraceable,  will, however, now get to be thwarted in future.

But, here is what will leave all political pundits in jeopardy as to find out why Russia is going ahead with such a deadly deal with Iran? The answer is China!

As it is China which has nudged Russia to safeguard Iran as now China is to invest 400 billion USD in military-and-trade in Iran.  The lure of S-400 is such that Turkey had kicked-off US F-35 and instead embraced S-400 from Russia, much to the heartburns in Israel and the US.  

What is also more than surprising is that Russia has announced so even when Iran’s economy is on a shaky ground. Hence, China is clearly on a future mode, as now when S-400 would be in Iran’s arsenal, along with China’s radar system, Iran would be in a much better position to situate itself against any Israel or US joint attack which is a possibility that everyone agrees with.  

Did not the Israeli defence minister Benny Gants satire that ‘not necessarily Israel is behind all Iran nuclear sites incidents’ informed Reuters on June 5, 2020.

File Image: Leaders of Iran, Russia and China

Iran has also been marred by the following mystery fires which set ablaze its seven ships to be to rubble and Iran accuses Israel to be behind it, according to Vox.Com on July 17, 2020. Russian expertise is such that very soon it is to be ready to deploy S-500s and India is also set to accede to Russian S-400s by 2021, according to EurasianTimes on July 8, 2020, but in the same context, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has told that they are fitted with Chinese electronics system, hence, India need not hunt for it.

The US Lockheed Martin, which makes stealth F-35 jets is getting a run for its money, and now interestingly, Israel has given its Iron Dome Battery to the US, tells Military.Com on October 5, 2020, to bolster its defences as Israel is all protected by it.  

Why are Russia and China, both superpowers in their own right going ‘gaga’ over Iran? The obvious reply is Iran’s relentless challenge to the US from the past 70 years, and also that very recently, before the Iran-China deal on July 12, 2020, was announced after when India was made to ‘exit’ from Iran-Chabahar project, China had also to bask in Israel ignominy!

As Israel cancelled Chinese contracts ten days after the visit of US secretary to state Mike Pompeo, informed Haaretz on May 26, 2020. China has been left licking its wounds.

An unforeseen future but for sure the messiest conflict seem to await the world as Russia and China are expected to soon recognise Afghan-Taliban government once after the formal US withdrawal takes place, and thereafter, the possibility cannot be ruled out that Afghan-Taliban might be provided with Russian and Chinese weaponry, which would send alarm bells ringing in India as they are considered not ‘that friendly’ to New Delhi India.  

But right now, however, Israel will leave no stone unturned to stop the supply of Russian S-400 missiles to Iran and if Trump regains power, there a joint military action against Tehran cannot be ruled out.

Penned By Haider Abbas. The writer is a former State Information Commissioner. He is a media analyst and writes on international politics.