The North Korea-China-Pakistan-Iran Axis Threatens Israel

November 6, 2020 | Dany Shoham
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North Korea, China, Pakistan, and Iran together constitute a contiguous expanse of territory stretching across Asia. Each of the four possesses chemical and biological weapons. While the Islamic Republic is currently working to develop nuclear capabilities as well, the other three already have them. Moreover, Pyongyang and Tehran have for years cooperated in the development of nuclear technology and long-range missiles. Beijing, the most powerful of the four, maintains good relations with the others. Considering the implications for Israel of this loose but dangerous alliance, Dany Shoham writes:

On September 8, a meeting took place between the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national-security and foreign-policy commission and the North Korean ambassador. . . . The meeting was held to discuss the launch of financial and barter networks between the two countries. The U.S. special representative for Iran and Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, responded by saying, “We are very concerned about Iran’s cooperation with North Korea. . . . We will be watching the cooperation with North Korea very carefully and doing what we can to prevent it.”

While the territory comprising North Korea, China, Pakistan, and Iran might form a cardinal unified factor within the geostrategic system of the eastern hemisphere (and beyond), the interactions of China and Iran with Israel are especially meaningful in the [Middle East]. Two remarkable examples . . . are the recent Iranian cyberattack on Israel’s drinking water, which aimed to destabilize the chlorine level and [thereby] poison the country’s citizens; and the approaching operational management of the port of Haifa’s New Bay Terminal—not far from Haifa Naval Base, which houses Israeli submarines, missile boats, and other vessels—by the Shanghai-based, government-owned SIPG, from 2021 to 2046.

If China finds that it needs to prioritize between Iran and Israel—an entirely conceivable scenario—it will favor Iran, no matter what the context.

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