America Should Supply Ukraine with Captured Iranian Weapons

Feb. 17 2023

In the past twelve months alone, the U.S. and its allies have intercepted thousands of rifles, along with anti-tank missiles, surface-to-air missiles, ammunition, and much else, that Tehran was trying to smuggle by sea to its Houthi allies in Yemen. According to a recent report, the Biden administration is considering sending these armaments to Ukraine. Jonathan Lord and Andrea Kendall-Taylor explain why doing so would be sound policy:

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), through its work with European allies and Gulf partners, is well on its way to turning the critical waterways around the Arabian Peninsula into a panopticon, making it increasingly difficult for [Iran’s] Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps navy to operate without detection. [This] success in stymying Iran has left CENTCOM with vast stores of seized weapons. These weapons, once inspected and recorded by the United Nations as evidence of Iran’s violations of UN Security Council resolution 2624, are housed in U.S. military facilities across the region.

Instead of allowing these weapons to gather dust, Washington should send them to Ukraine. . . . Beyond filling [Kyiv’s] immediate military necessities, the transfer of these weapons would have other positive knock-on effects. Sending Iran’s weapons to Ukraine for use against Russia could drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran at a moment when their interests are converging. Iran has trained and equipped the Russian military with loitering munitions, which the Russians have unleashed on Kyiv’s civilian infrastructure, in a blatant effort to leave Ukrainians in the dark and cold this winter.

Russia and Iran have colluded to evade sanctions, trade, and resist the West’s attempts to constrain their respective efforts to destabilize Europe and the Middle East. Turning Iran’s weapons back on Russia might drive Moscow to pressure Tehran to stop smuggling weapons to Yemen, particularly as more and more shipments are intercepted.

Iran and Russia . . . have sought to bully their way to greater power and influence through the brutalization of their neighbors. While these two pariah states deserve each other, there’s poetic justice in turning their malign activities back on them. Sending Iran’s weapons to Ukraine advances the mission in ways both tangible and symbolic. Washington should move without delay.

Read more at Washington Post

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

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