China Seems Poised to Offer Iran More Weapons and Cyberwarfare Assistance

Last month, the Chinese minister of defense, together with senior military figures, paid a visit to Tehran, where they met with their Iranian counterparts, as well as with the Iranian president. Tuvia Gering and Jason M. Brodsky doubt the talks will result in a grand Sino-Iranian alliance, but they nonetheless expect increased collaboration between the two countries. For many years, they note, Beijing has evaded or violated embargoes to sell arms to the Islamic Republic, and there’s reason to expect more of the same:

In March 2010, [for instance], it was reported that Iran started manufacturing the Chinese-designed Nasr-1 anti-ship missile. Just four years prior, during the 2006 Lebanon War, four Israeli navy soldiers were killed by an Iranian derivative of the Chinese C-802 subsonic anti-ship cruise missile launched by the Iranian proxy, Hizballah. . . .

With the possibility of the nuclear deal being resurrected, enabling Tehran to gain greater access to funds, the arms trade could become a growing concern for Washington and its allies. Some analysts have ruled out the likelihood of China becoming a significant arms exporter to Iran in the post-embargo period, but as the Lebanon War and recent bombings illustrate, Chinese technology in the wrong hands can be destructive.

Military support is also measured in ways other than tangible weapons. For one, cyberwarfare is an integral component of Iran’s arsenal, and Beijing pledged to expand cyber cooperation during Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s January visit to Wuxi. China is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cyberattacks and military and industrial espionage. Countries throughout the region have documented high-profile cases involving Chinese hackers, including a widespread campaign of cyber espionage against Israel, the constant targeting of its defense industry, and the inadvertent sabotage of a medical center’s computer system.

Read more at Middle East Institute

More about: China, Cyberwarfare, Iran, Israel-China relations, Israeli Security

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan