Medvedev takes aim at US missile shield, targeting also Israel's missile defenses
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2011, 7:37 PM (GMT+02:00)
After deploying three warships in Syrian waters, Moscow continues to beat war drums against the United States followed closely by Tehran. Wednesday, Nov. 23, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told state television: "I have ordered the armed forces to develop measures to ensure if necessary that we can destroy the command and control systems" of the planned US missile-defense system in Europe. These measures are appropriate, effective and low-cost."
Iranian Supreme Leader's top advisor for military affairs Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi came next. He said: "The Iranian Revolutionary Guards controls the identity and destination of every US warship which intends to pass through the Strait of Hormuz."
debkafile's military sources report that the US missile shield's command and control systems which the Russian president spoke of destroying are linked directly to Israel's missile defense network against Iranian, Syria and Hizballah missiles and the X-Band radar station located in the southern Israeli Negev.
Medvedev's threat to American "command and control systems" was therefore comprehensive. It referred not just to the US anti-missile shield facilities planned for Europe, but also to preparing measures for use ("if necessary") - in the course of a possible American or Israeli attack on Iran or Syria - for striking the US missile defense systems in Europe before they can intercept Iranian missiles.
Knocking out the European shield would leave Israel completely exposed to Iranian missile attack.
In a very few terse words, the Russian president has made it clear that the Kremlin will not allow Iran and its Middle East allies be prevented from missile retaliation in the event of war. That threat also explains why at least two of the three Russian naval vessels moved into Syrian territorial waters last week were equipped for surveillance and electronic warfare, exactly what is needed for a Russian operation to destroy US missile shield command and control centers near the Syrian border, such as the one stationed in Turkey.
In another part of his announcement, President Medvedev also threatened to opt out of the new START arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the US proceeds with the missile shield without meeting Russia's demand for it to be managed jointly, which NATO has rejected.
The Iranian General Savavi's assertion of the IRGC's exclusive control of the Strait of Hormuz was in direct response to the crossing of two US carriers, the USS Stennis and USS Bush, through the strait to take up position opposite the Iranian coast. This was reported exclusively by debkafile Monday, Nov. 21.