Today, Russia is the lead supplier for Iran’s civilian nuclear efforts, while ignoring that country’s military nuclear program. In December 2005 Russia announced that it would sell Iran $700 million worth of TOR-M1 (SA-15) short-range surface to air missiles, and is now reportedly negotiating a sale of long range anti-aircraft SA-10s (known by their Russian designation S-300). Buttressed by radars and computers, these missile systems could be arrayed in a nation-wide air defense system, which would render any future disarming air strikes all but impossible.
Before 9/11 we were told that a system to prevent against missile attack was a waste of money. The Soviet Union was dead and no one could possibly threaten us with missiles. But Iran’s current obsession with obtaining nuclear weapons and the Russians willingness to sell them delivery systems makes it look a lot more appealing.
Iran is not yet at a point where they are capable of launching missiles on the continental United States, but North Korea either has or is close to having missiles capable of reaching us. I guess under the arguments made before the Iraq War, we should wait until they not only have the capability but are about to use it, before we start thinking about doing anything about it.
But U.S. antimissiles systems in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel would go a long way to neutralizing Iranian mischief