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Danger of Putin's rush to arm Iran

The Russian commitment to deliver a sophisticated "air defence missile system" to Iran by year's end (News, April 14) is another step in Vladimir Putin's ambitious plan to re-establish Russia as an equal actor in the Middle East.

Putin's rush to ally Russia with Iran and supply it with a missile system, which without too much effort could be diverted from a putative defence system to an offensive one capable of carrying nuclear warheads, also substantiates Israel's concern about a nuclear Iran.

By effectively ruling out an Israeli defensive first-strike, it negates the military strategy of the Jewish state leaving it vulnerable to Iranian aggression.

This is Prime Minister Netanyahu's doomsday scenario and, while it remains only a theoretical proposition at the moment, the determination of any Israeli premier - past, present and future - has always been predicated on a single principle: never again.

This resolve should not be glibly dismissed as alarmist by Western commentators and Russia's highly dangerous game of brinkmanship should concern all of us in a way that has not happened since the height of the Cold War.


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