Russian TV Expert Targets Israel With Veiled Iran Threat

A Kremlin propagandist has reacted with anger at the prospect that Israel may provide Ukraine with the world's most advanced missile defense system.

The comments by military analyst Igor Korotchenko on the Russia 1 channel follow an interview by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the Israeli leader suggested that he was considering sending Kyiv its Iron Dome system.

Last October, Ukraine asked Israel for the Iron Dome and other weaponry, according to The Times of Israel, but so far its government has only provided equipment like helmets and protective vests, as well as humanitarian aid.

When asked whether his country would send the defense system, which can intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from up to 40 miles away, Netanyahu told French TV outlets TF1 and LCI , "I'm looking into it."

Iron Dome, Israel
An Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches a missile near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on August 7, 2022. Kremlin propagandist Igor Korotchenko told Russia 1 TV that the prospect of Israel supplying the system to Ukraine could result in a response from Iran, which is Moscow's ally. JACK GUEZ/Getty Images

The U.S. contributed more than $1.6 billion towards Israel's development of the Iron Dome system.

But Korotchenko said that Israeli help for Ukraine to fight against Russian aggression would come at a price, as he referred to Moscow's strong ties with Tehran.

On the show 60 Minutes, he said that Netanyahu's statement had "stirred everyone up" before referring to how the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani was visiting Moscow.

"There will be certain talks, we don't know what about," Korotchenko told anchor Evgeny Popov. "We can say that we are considering various opportunities for cooperation with Iran, which to say the least will not be greeted with enthusiasm by Israel."

Iran is a close ally of Russia and has supplied Moscow with missiles and Shahed-136 loitering munitions, also known as "kamikaze drones" which have destroyed Ukrainian civilian and energy infrastructure. Tehran has denied supplying the weapons.

Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the online military publication National Defense, then made a veiled threat at what might be agreed between Iran and Russia regarding Israel.

Iran rejects Israel's right to exist and tensions are high between the countries after a drone attack on a military site in the central city of Isfahan in the Islamic Republic on Saturday.

"With due respect, the Israeli side needs to carefully consider the risks and make decisions based on Israel's national security and not run ahead of the American and Ukrainian locomotive," he said.

The clip was shared by the Twitter account Kremlin Yap, which tweets Russian propaganda and wrote: "Korotchenko's role is to threaten. He used to threaten Poland, now Israel. He doesn't think that all this will ever be forgotten, does he?"

Newsweek has contacted the Israeli Foreign Ministry for comment.

Korotchenko is known for his aggressive statements against Russian opposition and foreign critics of the Kremlin. In September 2022 on the same TV network, he called for Vladimir Putin to form a plan for a nuclear attack against NATO.