Janes Defence Weekly recently filed this report entitled Iran answers Hizbullah call for SAM systems. In addition to Russian-produced SAMs, they noted:
that Iran is also understood to have agreed to deliver its own version of the Chinese QW-1 man-portable low- to very-low-altitude SAM system - the Mithaq-1- developed by the Iranian Defence Ministry's Shahid Kazemi Industrial Complex in Tehran.Matt Schroeder wrote a interesting piece for the Strategic Security Blog (a project of the Federation of American Scientists) entitled MANPADS for Hezbollah?
The (Janes Defence)article cites unnamed western diplomats, who also claim that Iran agreed to provide, "at a later date," several different types of Russian missiles, including the sophisticated SA-16. Assuming the information is accurate, the missile transfers are significant for several reasons. First, the missiles are a potential threat not only to Israeli military aircraft but also commercial airliners worldwide. Secondly, the transfers violate a nascent but critically important international norm against the transfer of MANPADS to non-state actors.
He goes on to note that Iran is not a member of any of the non-proliferation forums and therefore is not bound by their agreements. For a comprehensive report on this, don't miss the link at the bottom of the page and for a first-hand account of the lethality of these types of anti-aircraft weapons see this report filed by Ron Ben-Yeshai who was embedded with Israeli paratroopers in Lebanon.
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