Chris Hughes – Mirror.co.uk April 12, 2010
Iran is buying an ultra-sophisticated missile system from Russia to protect its nuclear sites.
The S-300's surface-to-air rockets can hit many targets at once, including in-coming cruise missiles, making any Western or Israeli strike on Iran much more difficult.
News of the multi-billion pound deal with Moscow has caused fury and fear among Western powers as they desperately try to stop the country developing nuclear weapons. An intelligence source told The Mirror: "In the game of bluff and counter-bluff this is bad news for Israel and the West.
"The new missile system will hugely empower Tehran which already has a fairly inflated view of its military and defence capability.
"This has everyone worried -Israel because it knows the US is currently not up for attacking Tehran and the US because it knows Tehran has the upper hand."
The S-300, which Iran has been trying to buy since 2005, can hit a target at 100 miles and will be delivered to them within months.
It is a massive blow to Israeli defence chiefs who fear Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, below, is building up a nuclear capability to attack them.
Pentagon chiefs have already written up a detailed plan to strike as many as 100 targets if they have to destroy Tehran's nuclear installations.
Bunker-buster bombs would hit underground complexes and Hellfire missiles targeted to kill the country's top scientists.
Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Military Co-operation confirmed delivery of the S-300 is imminent. Russia's stateowned news agency RIA Novosti said: "Contracts have been signed."
US NUKE ROW
Iran will complain to the UN after President Barack Obama failed to rule out a nuclear attack on it.
The US leader has left Iran off a list of countries it has pledged not to target with atomic weapons.
Washington accuses Iran and North Korea of exceeding international limits on nuclear arsenals.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Obama's "remarks mean the US government is a villain government that can't be trusted".
Last updated 13/04/2010