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Stratfor: Russia Provides Israel With Code To Crack Tor M-1 Air Defense System It Provided To Iran – OpEd


Among the new nuggets exposed by Wikileaks’ dump of Stratfor e-mails is an eye-opening 2009 memo from an analyst who met with an intelligence source in Mexico.  The latter had a Mexican ex-military friend with a background in Mexican UAV (drone) systems.  The source told his Stratfor “handler” that the Georgians just before their war with Russia, had desperately appealed to him for help in procuring Mexican UAVs (used particuarly in the fight against the local drug cartels) to replace the Israeli craft they had been using.  It appears the Georgians suspected that their Israeli-built downed drones had been sabotaged by the Russians.  How?  The Israelis, eager to procure data link codes for Russian-supplied Tor M-1 anti-aircraft systems (which would defend Iran against Israeli air attack), had traded sabotaging one of their (UAV) weapons systems for one of the Russians:

I inquired more about the compromised Israeli UAVs. What he explained was that Israel and Russia made a swap — Israel gave Russia the ‘data link’ code for those specific UAVs; in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Iran’s Tor-M1s.

Ah it’s a lovely thing to watch two military powers screwing their clients all for the sake of pursuing their own national interests.  This of course leaves Georgia and Iran out in the cold and at the mercy of their double-dealing arms suppliers.  Though it won’t do much for the respective reputations of the Israeli and Russian arms industry on the international market.

Now, any time you hear of Bibi Netanyahu or Avigdor Lieberman making secret trips to Russia as has happened, you’ll have some idea of what sort of shenanigans might be going on behind closed doors.

It’s worth noting that the Iranians claim to have done something very similar (to what the Russians did to the Georgian drones) to the U.S. drone which they caused to crash inside Iran, by breaking into its data communication system and bringing it down.

The memo also discusses the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft system, which Russia had agreed to supply to Iran.  Back in the days when the Turkish and Israeli militaries were still on friendly terms (the memo was written in 2009 pre-Mavi Marmara), the Turks shared their intelligence code-breaking of the S-300 with Israel.  The former were especially interested because Russia had supplied the weapon to Greece to defend Cyprus.  It was in Turkish interest to break down the S-300 and as they did they shared their knowledge with the Israelis.

Though Russia, feeling the weight of U.S. and Israeli pressure and trade sanctions, ultimately decided not to supply the system, the Iranians built their own version of it.

On a related subject, a Turkish newspaper reports that a drone that crashed in Azerbaijan last September was Israeli and that it was based at an Azerbi military base.  The drone was en route to spy over Iran.  Now, we can add to Iran’s claims that Israeli assassins are operating out of Azerbaijan, we can add Israeli spycraft as well.  Anyone want to hazard a guess how Israel got Azerbaijan’s agreement to this arrangement…and would it have anything to do with suitcases full of cash exchanging hands on a regular basis?

This article was published at Tikun Olam

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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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