There has been an important development involving the Iranian nuke deal “framework” negotiated with the USA, European nations and Russia. Russia has previously been part of an arms embargo against Iran during the sanctions phase and the nuclear talks. Russia has suddenly and unexpectedly abrogated its participation in this arrangement, and announced it is shipping very advanced anti-missile missiles to Iran. Russia’s action is “effective immediately” so we can expect to see these Russian missiles heading for Iran soon (first link).
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, angry about this development, personally called Russian President Putin to protest Russia’s action to help Iran’s missile defenses at this time (second link). I don’t think it takes an experienced “cloak and dagger” type analyst to see what has likely happened. I think that Russia’s intelligence agencies came to a conclusion that the “framework” for an Iranian nuclear deal that will eventually allow Iran to have nuclear weapons was so unacceptable to Israel that Israel was likely to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities sooner rather than later. Israel, under threat from Iran to be “wiped off the map,” cannot afford to be late about any decision to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. Russia, convinced an Israeli strike was drawing near, abrogated its arms embargo and announced it was shipping advanced aid defense batteries to defend its ally, Iran. The placement of advanced Russian anti-aircraft missile systems in Iran at this time would obviously make it harder for Israel to make a successful air strike against Iran (first link).
If Israel has plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in light of the apparent failure of the nuclear talks to prevent an Iranian nuke, Israel may decide to strike Iran before the new Russian missiles can be installed in Iran and be made operational. I’m not predicting that event, but I believe that is a possible outcome to these fast-moving events. If Israel strikes now, it can likely count on Saudi and Jordanian help in at least granting airspace usage rights to conduct its air strike. Perhaps it may receive even more cooperation from Sunni Arab nations, who are very threatened by Iran and have no desire to see the “Persian” Shiites have any nuclear weapons. If the Russian missiles are installed and Israel deems it too dangerous to its pilots to fly attack missions against Iranian nuclear sites, I think it still has three options. It can fire cruise missiles from Israeli Dolphin missiles stationed close enough to Iran’s coastline to be in range, it can use Mossad-designed penetration missions or it can use its own Jericho ballistic missiles to attack Iranian nuclear sites (I’m not sure about the range of the Israeli Jericho missiles).
The fact that Russia believed it had to take swift action to reinforce Iran’s anti-aircraft missile defenses at this time argues that Russia believed an Israeli air attack had become more likely due to the weak nuclear agreement the West negotiated with Iran. If Russia did not think this was the case, it would have had no reason to suddenly abrogate its agreement and ship advanced missile defense systems to Iran at this time.
As I’ve pointed out previously, the Israelis and the Sunni Arabs, the peoples most threatened by an Iranian nuclear program, were specifically excluded from the nuclear negotiations with Iran. They cannot help but feel like their security interests were ignored by the parties at the negotiating table, and are highly likely to not trust anything about this nuclear deal’s “framework.”
In a related news item, the third link reports that the German Foreign Minister and the Italian government have both expressed misgivings about giving Iran such rapid sanctions relief in the vague nuclear deal recently cobbled together. Iran’s statements seem to indicate it thinks all sanctions will be lifted immediately, a concept other participants in the talks have reportedly said is not true. It appears that the “framework” of this nuclear deal with Iran was understood very differently by the participants at the negotiating table and the deal is starting to fray already.
Ezekiel 38 prophesies that Russia, China and Iran will be allies at the end of this age in an anti-western alliance and this has been fulfilled. Russia’s rush to send advanced missiles to Iran shows Russia is acting to protect its ally. Since Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other Sunni Islamic nations were excluded from the nuclear talks, they are under no obligation to observe or abide by any of its provisions. The chance of a wider war in the Mideast just went up. Iran and Saudi Arabia are actively fighting a proxy war in Yemen already. Netanyahu is surely wondering how long he can wait to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities without risking the existence of the nation of Israel. If Israel does attack Iran, there is no guarantee that that will be the end of the hostilities. It may lead to a wider Israeli-Iranian war, an expanded Sunni vs. Shiite war and sleeper cells planted by Iran in Europe and North America could also be activated. Again, I’m not predicting any specific outcomes to these events, but the chances of a larger Mideast war have just risen to a higher level.