An Iranian government official claimed earlier this week that its Russian-made air defenses were compromised by Moscow, leaving Iran and its allies defenseless against Israeli airstrikes. An engineer with Tehran’s Ministry of Defense alleged that codes forcing anti-aircraft missiles to treat hostile Israeli fighters as friendly were sold to Tel Aviv, effectively neutralizing Syria and Iran’s S-300 surface-to-air missile systems.
An Iranian official, described by the Jerusalem Post as a senior member of Iran’s Defense Ministry, told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that Russia had sold “codes” to Israel that identified Israeli aircraft as friendly. The codes were used by Israel to prevent its aircraft from being targeted. Israel has flown dozens of air raids over Syria, and despite advanced air defenses, only the latest raid, flown last Friday, involved an actual missile launch.
The article doesn’t say what the Iranians mean by “codes”, but Tehran apparently means the Identify Friend or Foe codes that aircraft transmit to avoid being shot down by their own air defenses. The S-300 missile, an older surface-to-air missile similar to the American Patriot, was identified as the affected system. The S-300s not only would refuse to engage the Israeli planes, the report says, but also they wouldn’t give notice that the planes had taken off from nearby Israel, giving Syrian troops time to prepare.
Or just like the raid that destroyed the Syrian-Nork built reactor site designed to fire off nuclear weapons development, the IAF’s electronic warfare people are just good.
According to Al-Jarida, “Iranians and the Syrians suspected that Russia gave the codes for the air defense system to Israel and even refused the requests of Tehran and Damascus to check the codes.” As the story goes, Iran managed to change the codes on its own supplied S-300 missile systems, then sent engineers to Syria to change the codes on Syrian S-300s, which also protect Hezbollah forces from aerial attack. The fact that the Syrian S-300s finally launched after the codes were changed confirmed to the Iranians that Russia had thrown them under the bus.