Spain Should Welcome Improved Relations between Rabat and Jerusalem

Last week, Israel and Morocco—which reestablished diplomatic ties last year in the wake of the Abraham Accords—signed a memorandum of understanding on security issues, which is expected to open the door to intelligence sharing, joint exercises, and perhaps arms sales. In Spain, a country that has a complicated and tense relationship with its African neighbor, the media greeted news of the agreement with alarm. Angel Mas argues that such this reaction is deeply misguided:

The government of Spain systematically disdains Israeli concerns regarding issues such as the financing of terrorism, to which Spanish institutions controlled by the parties in the government contribute under the cover of humanitarian aid. Also, Spain has no problem in cultivating the friendship of regimes that openly call for the destruction of the Jewish state—such as Iran, whose vice-chancellor was received by the Spanish government just a few days ago.

Spain is a country with much more economic and political weight than Morocco. According to historical and cultural criteria, it should be a natural partner of Israel in the Western Mediterranean. But the attitude towards Israel of successive Spanish governments, especially the current one, puts obstacles in the road to this alliance.

The prosperity that the agreement between Morocco and Israel will bring could also be an opportunity for Spain. . . . Spain is not interested in a troubled Morocco but in a prosperous one. Such prosperity, in great measure, depends on Madrid.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israel-Arab relations, Morocco, Spain

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin