France Requests Air Defense for Paris Olympics

France has requested that Greece transfer a surface-to-air missile system to protect the Paris Summer Olympics, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported April 25. According to “well-informed sources,” France will need the extra defense if it sends its own weapons systems to Ukraine.

Crotale, built by French defense corporation Thales, entered Greece’s arsenal in 2003. It has a firing range of up to 20 kilometers (over 12 miles) with 6 kilometers altitude.

The transfer discussions reportedly started in November but have yet to develop significantly. But the Greek government confirmed Thursday that talks were still ongoing.

Who is France afraid of? The Olympic Games would be a prime target for extremist groups wanting to make a statement. The terrorist attack against Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics is a major example.

But a surface-to-air missile defense system is very sophisticated technology. The missiles’ range would repel an attack of close proximity to Paris rather than from another country. France could deal with bomb threats and gunmen through much simpler and cheaper means.

Coincidental timing? Last week, Iran barraged Israel with over 300 lethal projectiles. Israel retaliated by striking at a target that protects Iranian nuclear facilities.

As the war in the Middle East heats up (and threatens to drag Europe into it), is France worried Iran or one of its terrorist proxies could attempt an aerial strike? Has French intelligence picked up on credible news of such a threat?

What would make the military heavyweight France want to borrow another country’s missile defense system for the Olympics? And is it coincidence that the discussions started about a month after Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2023, massacre?

Pushing for a response: We expect Iran to keep pushing at Europe until it’s forced to respond. France’s request for air defense for the Olympics may be a sign of this.

For more information, read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Iran and Europe Heading for a Clash of Civilizations.”