The Russo-Iranian Partnership Poses a Global Threat

Iran’s provision of drones and military advisers to Russia has called international attention to an alliance that has been evident to those paying attention to the Middle East for at least a decade. While putative experts have tended to express doubts about the depth of Tehran-Moscow ties, citing centuries of conflict between tsarist and Persian imperial ambitions, Oved Lobel points out that these ties began with the Islamic Republic’s inception. Nor are they limited to the Middle East: Lobel identifies cooperation between the Kremlin and the mullahs as stretching from Latin America to Africa to Myanmar.

The relationship between Iran and Russia is neither recent nor transactional. This entirely ideological alliance began before the collapse of the Soviet Union, particularly with the division of Afghanistan in the mid-1980s, and it is strange that until this year, the conventional wisdom continued to stress tensions and differences rather than partnership.

The first Russian move following the collapse of the USSR was the massive sale of arms to Iran, despite severe U.S. pressure and a secret mid-1995 pact between then-Vice-President Al Gore and Russian’s then-Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to cut off such sales to Iran by 1999 in exchange for not being sanctioned. In 2007, Iran and Russia signed a deal for the S-300 air-defense system, which was ultimately delivered to Iran in 2016.

During the second intifada, it was via Moscow that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a former Soviet proxy, was able to meet with and secure help from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), ultimately resulting in the Karine A affair, in which a massive arms shipment to Palestinian terrorists was intercepted by Israel. Russia continues to maintain ties with all Palestinian terrorist groups, including IRGC clients and proxies like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Read more at Fresh Air

More about: Iran, Latin America, Middle East, Palestinian terror, Russia

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship