Will Moscow arm Iran more because of US interceptor missiles in Poland or Israel having armed Georgia?

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is shown an Israeli Aircraft Industries pilotless drone during his visit to their factories in Lod, Israel  (Photo: Time Magazine / Israel Aircraft Industries / Getty)
 
Tony Karon and (from Jerusalem) Aaron Klein's article "What Israel Lost" published in Time Magazine:
The Russians were piqued by Israel's military trade with Georgia even before the latest outbreak of hostilities — Moscow expressed its annoyance over the pilotless drones supplied by an Israeli company to the Georgians, three of which were downed by Russian aircraft over South Ossetia in recent months. Obviously mindful of the need to avoid provoking Russia, Israel declared off-limits certain weapons systems the Georgians had asked for, such as Merkava tanks and advanced anti-aircraft systems. "We have turned down many requests involving arms sales to Georgia, and the ones that have been approved have been duly scrutinized," a Defense Ministry official told the Israeli daily Yediot Ahoronot amid concerns raised over possible fallout from the Israeli ties to the Georgian military. The extent of damage in the Israeli-Russia relationship — if, indeed there is any — remains to be seen. Despite General Nogovitsyn's comments, Israeli officials say they have received no formal complaints from Russia over ties with Georgia.

Israel's strategic priority, right now, is countering the threat it sees in Iran's nuclear program, and on that front, Russian cooperation is essential. If the Israelis are to achieve their objective of forcing Iran to end uranium enrichment through diplomatic coercion, they will need Russian support for escalating U.N. sanctions — a course of action for which Russia has thus far shown little enthusiasm. And if Israel were to opt for trying to destroy Tehran's nuclear facilities through a series of air strikes, then the presence of the sophisticated Russian S-300 missile system in Iran would considerably raise the risk to Israeli pilots. Unfortunately for Israel, however, there may be little it can do to shape Moscow's Iran policy for the simple reason that Israel is not a major factor in Russia's strategic outlook. Moscow's actions on Iran are less likely to be determined by Israel supplying a few drones to Georgia than they are to be shaped, for example, by the deployment over extreme Russian objections of U.S. interceptor missiles on Polish soil.

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