US Must Treat Iran Like Russia :: Gatestone Institute

One of the most important lessons from the 1930s is that what starts in one place, like Austria or the Sudetenland, can almost be guaranteed not to stay there. In what amounts to a dramatic escalation in Iran’s military activities, Ukrainian forces claim to have shot down an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone used by the Russian armed forces. This is the first time that Iranian military equipment has been deployed on European soil. Pictured: The Iranian drone that was shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine. (Image source: Ukrainian Armed Forces)

Now that even the Biden administration has been forced to admit defeat in its rash attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, it is vital that the West does not let its guard down on Iran’s malign activities. worldwide.

Throughout the year-long negotiation process in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which the Biden administration concedes ended in stalemate, Tehran sought to give the impression that it was interested in brokering a deal, while stepping up its aggressive military activities in the Middle East and beyond.

Despite recent claims by European leaders that a new nuclear deal was still possible, Iranian intransigence effectively ended negotiations, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitting that Iran’s latest demands have back” the process.

While the breakdown of the talks represents a major setback for the Biden administration ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, it is nonetheless vital that the United States and its allies face the reality of expanding military operations of Iran in the world.

In what amounts to a significant increase in Iranian activity, Ukrainian forces involved in the highly successful offensive to retake large swaths of territory in northeastern Ukraine say they have beaten down an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone used by the Russian armed forces in the Kharkiv region.

The first reports that Iran had offered to supply Russia with military-grade drones to support its military efforts in Ukraine emerged in July after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran, where he met with the Supreme Leader of the country, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. U.S. officials later reported that the first batch of Iranian drones had been delivered by Russian cargo planes.

While Tehran denied the reports, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry released images of what appeared to be parts of a destroyed drone with “Geran-2” written on the side in Russian. The wingtip appeared to match that of a Shahed-136.

This amounts, by all accounts, to a truly considerable escalation of Iran’s military activities: it is the first time that Iranian military equipment has been deployed on European soil.

One of the arguments most frequently advanced by apologists for the Iranian regime is that Iran poses no threat to Europe and that its military activities are limited to pursuing its goals in the Middle East, including its long-term ambition. term to destroy Israel.

The fact that evidence has emerged showing that Iran actively supports Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine makes a mockery of this argument.

If Iran is ready to deploy sophisticated military equipment such as drones on European soil, it is clear that the ayatollahs would not hesitate to fire their long-range ballistic missiles, potentially armed with nuclear weapons, at targets Europeans.

On one level, it’s no surprise that two rogue states like Russia and Iran are looking to increase their military cooperation in their efforts to confront the West. Both regimes suffer the effects of Western sanctions and find themselves isolated on the international scene.

Nonetheless, Iran’s willingness to become directly involved in Europe’s deadliest conflict since the end of World War II represents a significant escalation in the threat Tehran poses to the outside world, a threat that Western powers ignore at their peril.

Moreover, Iran’s growing involvement in the Ukrainian conflict must be seen in the context of recent increased activity in other military spheres.

Despite Iran’s insistence that it wants to negotiate a new nuclear deal that limits its ability to acquire weapons-grade nuclear material, Iranian officials said last month vaunted that they now have the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, speaking to the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York last week, revealed a map showing more than ten facilities that Iran has built in Syria in recent years to produce missiles. medium and long range precision that can be used to target Israel.

This is not the action of a country which, as the Iranians repeatedly insist, is interested in peace, and should serve as a reminder to Western leaders to confront Iranian aggression in the same way. how they confronted Russia over its decision to invade Ukraine.

The support that the United States and its allies have provided to Ukraine has been critical to Kyiv’s success in resisting Russian attempts to occupy its territory.

The West must now provide the same level of support to all these countries – which now includes Ukraine – who find themselves the target of unprovoked acts of aggression by Tehran.

One of the most important lessons from the 1930s is that what starts in one place, like Austria or Sudetescan almost be guaranteed not to stay in this place.

Con Coughlin is the TelegraphDefense and Foreign Affairs Editor and Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

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