Israel Is Not at Fault for Iran Sending Its Drones to Russia

Earlier this week, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated complaints that Jerusalem has not provided his country with military assistance, and in particular that it has not shared its sophisticated missile-defense systems. Zelensky claimed, moreover, that Israel’s reluctance to send weapons resulted in Tehran providing Moscow with the drones it is now using to attack his country. On Wednesday, he changed his tune somewhat, thanking Israel for its recent sharing of vital intelligence. The editors of the Jerusalem Post take issue with the initial accusations:

Russia has been working with Iran for decades on defense technology, from missiles to air defense. Russia has even helped Iran to expand its nuclear-power program through expanding capacity at the Bushehr nuclear plant.

The main weapons Russia used against Ukraine since February, destroying villages and massacring civilians, have been Russian-made. Moscow’s decision to acquire thousands of Iranian drones is a new dangerous stage in the Moscow-Tehran partnership, but it is not because of Israel that Russia has relied on Iran and there is no evidence Israel could have prevented this partnership.

Israel has supported Ukraine since the war began; with humanitarian aid and also in international forums and through joining Western countries in condemning Russia’s invasion. It is true Israel has not sent air defenses to Ukraine. Western countries have also been slow to provide Ukraine with air defenses; many advanced systems, such as the Patriot system, have not been sent to Kyiv. [Furthermore], there is no evidence that Israel could have supplied Ukraine with [its] advanced systems, such as David’s Sling, Iron Dome, or Arrow; and it’s not clear even that these systems are appropriate for Kyiv.

Ukraine was careful in the past not to side too closely with Israel as it balanced its relations in the Middle East. Israel, too, was careful to balance its relations. Does Israel stand with Ukraine? Yes. Does that mean it needs to do everything Kyiv wants? No.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Volodymyr Zelensky, War in Ukraine

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security