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Soltam is an Israeli arms company.[1]

It was founded by Shlomo Zabludowicz in the early 1950s as a joint venture between the Israeli industrial conglomerate Sollel-Boneh and the Finnish arms manufacturer, Tampella. The Finnish connection enabled the company to trade in markets that were otherwise closed to the Israelis.[2]

The Jerusalem Post reported in June 1989 that Soltam was laying off 100 workers as a result of rising labour costs and emerging market competitors.[3]

After the death of Canadian ballistics expert Gerald Bull, Brigadier-General Avraham Bar-David, former commander of the Israeli army's artillery forces said that some of Bull's ideas had been used in Soltam's long-range artillery.[4]

Iranian Market

The fall of the Shah in 1979, led to a crisis for the company the following year.[5]

According to journalist Ronen Bergman, Soltam continued to sell arms to Iran:

After the 1979 Iranian revolution, and especially after the Iran-Iraq war, Israel sold Iran enormous quantities of weapons. The Soltam company led the way in those sales, as Iranian artillery continued, as in the good old days of the Shah, to fire shells produced on the company's Yokne'am production line.[6]

According to Avi Richter, a lawyer for arms dealer Nahum Manbar, Soltam offered to sell Iran "a huge amount" of mortar bombs in 1990, but were turned down.[7]

In early 1993, Hezbollah fired Soltam mortars at the Israeli Army in South Lebanon. A military report to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said the mortars had been made by Soltam, and sold years earlier to the Iranians, who passed them on to Hezbollah.[8]

Former Soltam director Avraham Bar-David said in 1997 that Israel had been liberal in its arms sales to Iran until 1988: ""There was the Iran-Iraq War and our interest was that this war would last forever. Israeli companies were willing to sell virtually anything."[9]

US market

In 1987, after leaving his job as US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, Richard Perle worked for Soltam.[10]


  1. Shlomo Zabludowicz, The Times, 24 August 1994.
  2. Shlomo Zabludowicz, The Times, 24 August 1994.
  3. Judy Maltz, LOCAL DEFENCE INDUSTRIES CASUALTIES OF WORLD PEACE, Jerusalem Post, 15 June 1989.
  4. Ian Black, Scientist offered services to Israel, Ian Black, The Guardian, 14 April 1990.
  5. John Benquezen, The Sleeping Beauty, Jerusalem Post, 17 December 2010.
  6. Ronen Bergman, NEWS: DOOR IS STILL SHUT ON IRANGATE, Haaretz, 2 December 1999.
  7. Steve Rodan, Israeli firms sold arms to Iran till '93, The Jerusalem Post, 12 September 1997.
  8. Patrick Cockburn, Israelis 'backed arms sales to Iran', The Independent, 18 July 1998.
  9. Steve Rodan, Israeli firms sold arms to Iran till '93, The Jerusalem Post, 12 September 1997.
  10. Stephen Green, Serving Two Flags Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration, Counterpunch, issue of 28 February - 2 March 2004.