Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the main danger emanating from Russia and the former Soviet Republics has been their willingness to sell weapons and weapons material to the highest bidder. As far as we know this has not yet happened with any nuclear weapons. However, today we learn
that Ukraine - one of te former republics which has the most Soviet weaponry, has allowed 12 Kh-55
strategic cruise missiles to be shipped to Iran. Ukraine assures us that they were shipped without the nuclear warheads that they are capable of carrying, but even without them, they change the dynamics of the Middle East.
These missiles are much more capable than the Shihab-3 and Shihab-4 that the Iranians were building. The Shihabs are ballistic missiles which had barely been tested, which were not that accurate, and that would be perfect targets for the Arrow II and Patriot anti-missile systems that Israel deploys. The Kh-55s, on the other hand, are subsonic, highly accurate missiles. They can fly at extremely low altitudes and are difficult to detect and destroy. Clearly they present a greater danger to Israel and US interests in the area.