The U.S. and Europe Must Punish the Islamic Republic for Its Support for Russia

Since September at least, Russian forces have been using Iranian-manufactured “kamikaze” drones to attack Ukraine. Moscow also expects Tehran to deliver short-range ballistic missiles that it can put to similar use—a clear violation of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231, passed in 2015. Behnam Ben Taleblu and Andrea Stricker comment:

The United States, as well as Britain, France, and Germany (the “E3”), have decried the Iranian drone transfers as a violation of resolution 2231. The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, as well as the EU Council, sanctioned three Iranian persons and one entity supporting Tehran’s drone efforts. Yet America and the E3 could penalize Iran’s violations and prevent them from becoming legal internationally by triggering the reimposition of UN sanctions that were lifted by the Iran nuclear deal—but they have failed to do so. This is in spite of the fact that Iran is in flagrant non-compliance with the atomic accord and, during eighteen months of talks, has refused to revive it.

Iran’s expanding arms-proliferation radius reflects the lack of constraint the Islamic Republic feels from the Biden administration’s overall Iran policy. Iranian drones are not just a Middle Eastern battlefield phenomenon—as they can be found as far away as Venezuela, Ethiopia, and now among Russia’s forces in Ukraine.

With protests raging across Iran and Tehran’s support for Putin’s imperial war in Ukraine deepening, the Biden administration should seize the opportunity to reset the chessboard against the Islamic Republic. Step one requires recognizing that Iranian weapons proliferation will increase so long as Washington sits on the sidelines.

Read more at The Hill

More about: Iran, Joe Biden, U.S. Foreign policy, War in Ukraine

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria