Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Libya, Croatia and the S-300

From Middle East Newsline:
Libya was said to have transferred a long-range Russian-origin air defense system to Iran.

A Croatian magazine said the Libyan Navy transported several S-300 air defense batteries from the former Yugoslav republic to Iran. The magazine, Necenzurirano, said Libyan warships docked in the Croatian port city of Kraljevica to transfer the S-300 to Iran.

There was no confirmation of the report. Croatia and Iran were said to have close relations, particularly in the naval sector.

From Cafe-Syria.com:
A Croatian website has reported that Zagreb recently sold S-300 missile systems to Iran. Croatia is known to have purchased the advanced anti aircraft defense systems following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The web magazine Necensurirano also reported that Libyan warships were docked at the Croatian port of Kraljevica where the missile systems were being loaded in preparation for transfer to Iran. Details of the Croatian deal were reported in The Jerusalem Post.

The report also noted that Ronen Bergman's The Secret War with Iran, published Tuesday in the US, repeats the claim made in the Hebrew version of the book, published last year, that the Iranians already have S-300s. Bergman writes ""Iran has purchased an enormous number of anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, some of which, according to Mossad sources, are S-300 missiles, considered among the most advanced in the world.

These missiles have been deployed around Bushehr and other strategic targets." Bergman writes. He claims that during the Second Lebanon War,Israeli satellite photographs detected changes at several locations in Iran.

Earlier this month media reports claimed Russia threatened to supply the sophisticated S-300 air defense system to Iran,if Washington pushes through Nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine. The advanced air defense system would enable Iran to lock in on 100 targets at once and fire on planes upto 120 kilometers away.

In August, Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Russia to discuss the purchasing of the S-300 missile system from Moscow as well as the Pantsyr-S1 Air Defense Missile system, the BUK-M1 surface-to-air medium-range missile system.

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