America Should Supply Ukraine with Captured Iranian Weapons

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

 

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria