Biden’s Weakness On Iran Cannot Continue

LEADER McCONNELL: ‘Ultimately, President Biden Must Also Accept That The Fundamental Assumptions Of His Administration’s Iran Policy Were Morally And Practically Bankrupt…. The Biden Administration’s Previous Iran Policy Is Now History. The President Must Go Back To The Drawing Board’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[T]he United States must continue to provide maximum support to Israel’s counter-terrorist operation, as long as it takes. And just as importantly, we have to re-establish deterrence against the Iranian regime that not only directly threatens America’s interest in a peaceful and stable Middle East, but also bears the blood of hundreds of Americans and plots to kill even more. America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the desperate pursuit of a new nuclear deal, and the failure to respond decisively to attacks on U.S. forces in Syria have weakened our deterrence against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/16/2023)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “President Biden needs to demonstrate our support for the difficult but necessary steps Israel must take to destroy the terrorists’ capacity to wage war…. In his words and actions, President Biden must also deter Iran and Hezbollah from further additional involvement in this terrorist war…. His tone, his statements, and his actions need to send an unambiguous message to Iran about America’s resolve. No more splitting hairs about whether intelligence demonstrates Iran’s direct involvement in the October 7th attacks. The Supreme Leader has rejoiced at the images of dead Israelis. A senior Iranian official called it ‘a proud operation.’ And Hamas has a history of thanking Iran for its support in public! No more absurd suggestions that seeking to free up $6 billion in Iranian assets doesn’t embolden Tehran. We have reams of evidence that the regime that chants ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ puts its money where its mouth is. Ultimately, President Biden must also accept that the fundamental assumptions of his Administration’s Iran policy were morally and practically bankrupt. The President’s team begged Iran to re-enter the Obama Administration’s flawed nuclear deal. Iran sensed their desperation and played hard to get. Then, the Administration sought to de-escalate tensions by overlooking Iranian plots against American citizens and former officials and ignoring Tehran’s growing repression at home and aggression abroad.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/17/2023)
  • LEADER McCONNELL: “The Biden Administration’s previous Iran policy is now history. The President must go back to the drawing board. He should start by doing what I’ve recommended to him since he took office: Work with Republicans to craft a bipartisan Iran policy that will survive his Administration. A plan that addresses all aspects of the threat Iran poses.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/17/2023)

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “This barbarism would not have been possible without the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet, President Joe Biden might still hand the ayatollahs over $6 billion. This week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and I will introduce legislation to permanently block this payment. Iran has bankrolled and supported Hamas for decades. Iran funds Hamas’ political organization in the Gaza Strip. Iran assisted Hamas in manufacturing the rockets that it is firing into Israeli cities. Iran instructed Hamas in how to build and operate the armed drones that it is flying towards Israeli civilian targets. And Iran trained many of the Hamas terrorists committing atrocities against Israel…. Since taking office, Joe Biden has helped unfreeze at least $10 billion in Iranian assets. And through his administration’s lax enforcement of sanctions, Biden has also helped Iran make an estimated $80 billion in oil profits since 2021.” (Sen. Cotton, Op-Ed, “Biden Is Our $6 Billion Mideast Disaster Thanks To His Support Of Iran,” Fox News, 10/16/2023)

‘It’s Worth Recalling How Hard Mr. Biden Has Tried To Accommodate The Mullahs In Tehran’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “It’s worth recalling how hard Mr. Biden has tried to accommodate the mullahs in Tehran. Upon taking office, his Administration ended Donald Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign. It relaxed enforcement of sanctions on Iran’s oil sales, which has been worth tens of billions. It also dispatched Iranian sympathizer, Robert Malley, to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal. (Mr. Malley has since been sidelined for unexplained reasons that may be related to security concerns.)” (Editorial, “Biden Faces an Iran Reckoning,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/11/2023)

  • “Iran has refused these entreaties. The latest ‘understanding,’ before the Hamas invasion, was that Iran would slow or stall its uranium enrichment for a bomb while the U.S. would let Iran have billions of dollars held by Iraq and South Korea. This included the $6 billion that was part of the trade for five Americans held as hostages by Iran.” (Editorial, “Biden Faces an Iran Reckoning,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/11/2023)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “An unfortunate reality of the Biden Presidency has been the failure of deterrence since the chaotic retreat from Afghanistan. White House warnings didn’t deter Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, and they haven’t stopped Iran’s proxies from attacking U.S. forces or facilities some 83 times. Now we’ll see if U.S. warnings deter Iran from unleashing Hezbollah and other proxies from opening a second or third front against Israel.” (Editorial, “Biden, Deterrence And Iran,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2023)

For Nearly Two Years, The Biden Administration Desperately Chased Another Ill-Conceived Nuclear Deal With The Iranian Regime

“Resurrecting the Iran nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama’s administration and abandoned by Donald Trump in 2018 was a key priority for Biden as he entered office.” (The Associated Press, 7/14/2022)

“The Biden administration has been negotiating quietly with Iran to limit Tehran’s nuclear program and free imprisoned Americans, according to officials from three countries … The U.S. goal is to reach an informal, unwritten agreement … The indirect talks, some occurring this spring in the Gulf Arab state of Oman, reflect a resumption of diplomacy between the United States and Iran after the collapse of more than a year of negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal.” (“Hoping to Avert Nuclear Crisis, U.S. Seeks Informal Agreement With Iran,” The New York Times, 7/14/2023)

  • “The Biden administration’s diplomatic outreach with Iran resumed at the end of the year last year with the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, holding two meetings with Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Amir Saeid Iravani, according to people familiar with the meetings. In early May, the White House Middle East coordinator, Brett McGurk, traveled to Oman for indirect talks mediated by the Omanis with an Iranian delegation that included Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s foreign ministry confirmed …” (“Hoping to Avert Nuclear Crisis, U.S. Seeks Informal Agreement With Iran,” The New York Times, 7/14/2023)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Here we go again. The same people who gave us the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 are trying to pull off a new version that would send Iran cash on day one in return for promises down the road.” (Editorial, “Biden’s New Iran Nuclear Courtship,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/16/2023)

  • “[T]he U.S. gave Iraq a sanctions waiver to pay Iran $2.76 billion for gas and electricity. This looks like the kind of goodwill gesture—a bribe to keep talking—that the U.S. ruled out in October 2021. The Biden Administration says the waiver is unrelated, citing past payments driven by Iraqi energy needs, but this one is five times as large. The Administration says Iran will spend the Iraqi funds only on food and medicine, as if money isn’t fungible. In reality the U.S. is freeing up billions of dollars that will finance the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its imperialism across the Middle East.” (Editorial, “Biden’s New Iran Nuclear Courtship,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/16/2023)

Multiple Israeli Leaders Warned The Biden Administration Against Making A New Deal With The Iranians

2023: “[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [U.S. Secretary of State Antony] Blinken talked extensively about Iran amid growing speculation that the Biden administration is closing in on an interim agreement with Tehran that would see the Islamic Republic freeze its enrichment of uranium in exchange for some sanctions relief from the US. Netanyahu reiterated his position that Iran will not stop advancing its nuclear program, even if it agrees to revive the nuclear deal with the US, his office says he told Blinken. ‘No deal with Iran will oblige Israel, which will do everything to defend itself.’” (“Netanyahu Talks Iran With Blinken, PM’s Office Says, Staying Mum On Saudi Normalization Push,” The Times of Israel, 6/08/2023)

2022: “As Washington and Tehran edge closer to restoring the nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday slammed the agreement being negotiated, saying it wouldn’t stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and would hand Tehran a significant financial boon…. [I]n his strongest public comments against the deal since coming to office in July, he accused the U.S. and its European allies of shifting their negotiating red lines to prevent the talks from collapsing…. Israel remains opposed, saying nuclear weapons in the hands of its longtime foe Iran would be an existential threat…. Mr. Lapid … said Wednesday the agreement would be worth $100 billion annually to the Iranian government, which could use the money to fund its militant proxies in the region, threatening both Israeli and U.S. sites in the region.” (“U.S., Iran Edge Toward Nuclear Deal as Israel Warns It Cedes Too Much to Tehran,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/24/2022)

2021: “Israeli officials are urging the White House not to strike a partial nuclear deal with Iran, warning it would be a gift to the new hard-line government in Tehran and stoking a growing public rift with the Biden administration over Iran’s nuclear program. Senior Israeli officials say they fear that Washington is setting the stage for a ‘less-for-less’ deal that would offer Tehran partial sanctions relief in exchange for freezing or winding back parts of their nuclear work…. One of the arguments Israeli officials have voiced in the past about the nuclear deal is that by providing sanctions relief, Iran has been able to divert more resources to its military and nuclear programs. ‘Throughout the last two years, we’ve seen a clear spike in Iran’s regional aggression. Fewer restrictions will result in more aggression and more regional upheaval fueled by the more money they will have obtained by sanctions relief,’ said a senior Israeli security official. ‘This will pose a danger to the security of the state of Israel and the stability of the Middle East.’” (“Israel Warns White House Over Striking Partial Nuclear Deal with Iran,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/24/2021)

In Its Pursuit Of Deals With Iran, The Biden Administration Outrageously Refused To Enforce Sanctions On Iranian Oil Exports, Allowing Tehran To Profit From Selling Even More Oil To China

“The U.S. backed away from some actions meant to stop Iran’s oil shipments as Washington and Tehran conducted negotiations that led to Monday’s release of five Americans, part of a larger step back from sanctions enforcement that has seen Iran’s energy exports grow, according to current and former U.S. officials…. Iran’s energy exports have been rising over the past several years, which former officials say suggests that the U.S. made a policy decision, even before the recent talks over detainees, to not aggressively enforce sanctions as it has sought to re-engage Iran at the negotiating table.” (“Iran’s Oil Exports Have Soared During Quiet Diplomacy With U.S.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/20/2023)

  • “Critics of the administration say that the U.S. isn’t using all diplomatic tools, such as lobbying small nations that provide the certification tankers need to ship goods internationally. As a result, the ghost armada—a term the shipping industry uses to describe a fleet of aging, often-uninsured tankers with no known owners that are often used to move Iranian and Russian oil—had grown to more than 300 tankers from 60 three years ago, brokers and oil traders said.” (“Iran’s Oil Exports Have Soared During Quiet Diplomacy With U.S.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/20/2023)

“Iran is exporting around 1.5 million barrels of oil per day — the vast majority of it to China — in a major increase from the nearly 1 million barrels it was exporting per day at the start of Biden’s term, according to Scott Modell, chief executive officer at the Rapidan Energy Group. Restricting those sales would be difficult but possible … ‘It would fly in the face of where the administration has been. The White House has wanted to keep Iranian oil flowing; they want to build on this working détente,’ said Modell …” (“White House Must Punish Iran Over Hamas Attacks, Lawmakers Say,” The Washington Post, 10/17/2023)

  • “[E]nergy analysts say Iran’s exports have increased four- to five-fold since 2020, with China emerging as its biggest buyer. That increase has come during a time when Biden has sought to ease tensions with Iran, including by trying to revive an Obama-era agreement meant to curb the Iranians’ nuclear weapons program.” (Politico, 10/12/2023)

“Nonprofit organizations including United Against Nuclear Iran, a New York group that campaigns against Tehran’s nuclear program, have publicly identified many of the prohibited Iranian exports spotted in seas and ports around the globe. The group, using satellite imagery and transponder data, has detailed scores of tankers carrying Iranian oil that remain untouched by U.S. sanctions or prosecutions. Iran’s state shipping company, National Iranian Tanker Company, a target of U.S. sanctions, says it has been able to ship oil to its biggest customer, China, unimpeded.” (“Iran’s Oil Exports Have Soared During Quiet Diplomacy With U.S.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/20/2023)

The Biden Administration Recently Released $6 Billion In Frozen Iranian Oil Revenues As Part Of A Prisoner Exchange That Most Believe Will Only Incentivize More Hostage-Taking By The Mullahs

“A Biden administration agreement with Iran to unfreeze $6 billion of funds to Tehran in exchange for the release of five American prisoners has roiled lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Republicans in Congress and even a few Democrats fear that such a deal encourages hostile nations to take more Americans traveling abroad as hostages in the future. While the administration has touted the agreement — which comes after more than a year of indirect negotiations between Washington and Tehran — as a diplomatic breakthrough, critics say Washington has catered to a foreign adversary it shouldn’t have negotiated with in the first place.” (“Biden’s New Deal With Iran Draws Fierce Blowback,” The Hill, 9/13/2023)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Secretary of State Antony Blinken … informed Congress he had signed a waiver releasing $6 billion in frozen Iranian oil revenues as part of a deal to bring home five Americans imprisoned in Iran. In return, the U.S. will release five Iranians held here. It’s a hard deal to accept, all the more so when the Biden Administration chose the anniversary of 9/11 to announce it…. What stands out in this deal is the $6 billion ransom. Though Mr. Blinken says it ‘will be available only for humanitarian trade’ like food and medicine, the reality is that the waiver now frees up funds for Iran’s nuclear program, terrorism and proxy wars.” (Editorial, “Biden’s $6 Billion Ransom to Iran,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2023)

A Former Iranian Hostage Points Out, ‘Six Billion Dollars Is An Awfully Large Amount Of Money [That] Could Cover A Hell Of A Lot Of Arms Shipped To Hezbollah [And] Hamas’

FORMER IRANIAN HOSTAGE KYLIE MOORE-GILBERT: “I served two years and three months in two Iranian prisons before being exchanged in a prisoner swap for three convicted IRGC terrorists held in Thailand…. I had received a 10-year sentence for the wholly unsubstantiated charge of espionage.” (Kylie Moore-Gilbert, “I Was a Hostage in Iran. The Deals Are Part of the Problem.,” The Atlantic, 8/25/2023)

MOORE-GILBERT: “Hostage diplomacy is on the rise worldwide, as the global rules-based order is buffeted by a resurgent authoritarianism coupled with the growing international perception of a United States in decline. Iran is one of its most egregious perpetrators, and so far Tehran has been able to simultaneously defy both international human-rights principles and basic laws of economics in commanding higher and higher prices for a proliferation of foreign hostages held in its prisons.” (Kylie Moore-Gilbert, “I Was a Hostage in Iran. The Deals Are Part of the Problem.,” The Atlantic, 8/25/2023)

MOORE-GILBERT: “The public outcry against the current deal, particularly from the Iranian American community as well as among Iranians themselves, has in my mind been largely justified. The United States has long been resolute in refusing to negotiate with non-state-actor hostage-takers, including terrorist groups, yet has found itself led down a slippery slope by a notoriously slippery Iranian regime whose hostage-taking apparatus is dominated by the IRGC, which is itself a proscribed terrorist organization. The exchange of $1.7 billion for four hostages in 2016 has become $6 billion for five hostages in 2023, yet in spite of the enormous markup, U.S. nationals are still being left behind. What is worse, Iran emerges from this deal further emboldened and motivated to take yet more hostages, perhaps in exchange for other large sums of sanctioned money frozen abroad in places such as Japan.” (Kylie Moore-Gilbert, “I Was a Hostage in Iran. The Deals Are Part of the Problem.,” The Atlantic, 8/25/2023)

MOORE-GILBERT: “Cash-for-hostages deals encourage regimes like Iran’s to view innocent human lives as commodities that can be bought and traded for profit. Over the decades, the Islamic Republic has refined its hostage-taking business model into an extortion racket that is one of its most powerful foreign-policy levers. As long as countries like the United States are willing to acquiesce to its insatiable demands for ever-increasing sums of ransom, we can expect Iran to commodify a seemingly endless supply of hostages.” (Kylie Moore-Gilbert, “I Was a Hostage in Iran. The Deals Are Part of the Problem.,” The Atlantic, 8/25/2023)

  • “Financial payments, regardless of where the funds come from, provide an incentive for hostage-taking, and as such they are fundamentally at odds with the U.S. government’s responsibility to ensure the security of its citizens…. The U.S. government needs to understand that Iran’s regime views conciliatory measures, such as declining to enforce sanctions, not as friendly gestures to smooth the path to negotiation, but as signals of weakness.” (Kylie Moore-Gilbert, “I Was a Hostage in Iran. The Deals Are Part of the Problem.,” The Atlantic, 8/25/2023)

The White House Defended Exchanging Access To These Funds For The Return Of Hostages, Even Incredibly Claiming ‘The Fungibility Argument … Is Also A False Argument’

“National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby pushed back against claims that the $6 billion in Iranian funds released by the U.S. last month during a prisoner swap allowed Iran to use other money to help fund Palestinian militant group Hamas in the wake of its attacks on Israel. Pressed on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ over if the deal delivered other financial obligations for Iran, Kirby said, ‘This is the fungibility argument, which is also a false argument, too.’” (“Kirby Pushes Back On $6B Iranian Funds Helping Pay For Hamas Attack,” The Hill, 10/15/2023)

Iran Is Complicit In The Atrocities Perpetrated By Hamas

REPORTS: ‘Iranian Security Officials Helped Plan Hamas’s Saturday Surprise Attack On Israel And Gave The Green Light For The Assault,’ ‘A Tight Circle Of Leaders From Iran, Hezbollah And Hamas Helped Plan The Attack Starting Over A Year Ago, Trained Militants And Had Advanced Knowledge Of It’

“Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas’s Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, another Iran-backed militant group. Officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had worked with Hamas since August to devise the air, land and sea incursions—the most significant breach of Israel’s borders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War—those people said.” (“Iran Helped Plot Attack On Israel Over Several Weeks,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/08/2023)

“Some people familiar with the operation said that a tight circle of leaders from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas helped plan the attack starting over a year ago, trained militants and had advanced knowledge of it. That account is based on interviews with three Iranians affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, one Iranian connected to senior leadership and a Syrian affiliated with Hezbollah. Other people say they believe Iran had some involvement but it was not as deep.” (“Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran,” The New York Times, 10/13/2023)

Still, training had been taking place in Lebanon and Syria, and a secret joint command center had been set up in Beirut, according to the Iranians and the Syrian familiar with the operation. Hezbollah’s top commandos, experienced in urban guerrilla warfare, trained Hamas members in Syria and Lebanon, according to two Iranians. Paragliders trained in Lebanon, they said, while in Syria, the Hamas members were trained to raid Israeli communities and take civilians hostage. Hezbollah has helped train other Iran-backed militias from the region before, such as the Houthis in Yemen. The Lebanese group also deployed fighters to Syria during the war there, where they trained and fought alongside Syria’s army. Over the past six months, Hezbollah created provocations meant to mislead and distract Israel along its northern border with Lebanon and in Syria so it would think the real threat was coming from those areas, according to two Iranians briefed after the attack.” (“Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran,” The New York Times, 10/13/2023)

  • “Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who is in charge of supervising Iran’s network of proxy militias as head of the country’s paramilitary Quds Force, repeatedly traveled to Lebanon for covert sessions with leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah, a Shiite Lebanese militia that Iran also supports. Over the past year, Mr. Ghaani worked to coordinate and unify all of Iran’s proxies, according to public statements from Iranian analysts and five Iranians familiar with the work of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.” (“Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran,” The New York Times, 10/13/2023)
  • “Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, held an hourslong online meeting in March with an elite group of strategists from all the Iran-backed militias and told them to get ready for a war with Israel with a scope and reach — including a ground invasion — that would mark a new era, according to two participants from Iran and Syria. The participants spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the meeting.” (“Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran,” The New York Times, 10/13/2023)

‘The Assault Bore Hallmarks Of Iranian Support’ And Meshed With ‘The IRGC’s Broader Plan … To Create A Multi-Front Threat That Can Strangle Israel From All Sides’

[C]urrent and former intelligence officials said the assault bore hallmarks of Iranian support, and noted officials in Tehran have boasted publicly about the huge sums in military aid provided to Hamas in recent years. ‘If you train people on how to use weapons, you expect them to eventually use them,’ said a Western intelligence official who, like others interviewed, requested that his name and nationality be withheld to freely discuss the rapidly unfolding events in southern Israel.” (“Hamas Received Weapons And Training From Iran, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 10/09/2023)

  • “Jonathan Finer, the White House’s deputy national security adviser, said in an interview with CBS News: ‘What I can say without a doubt is that Iran is broadly complicit in these attacks. Iran has been Hamas’s primary backer for decades. They have provided them weapons. They have provided them training. They have provided them financial support. And so, in terms of broad complicity, we are very clear about a role for Iran.’” (“Hamas Received Weapons And Training From Iran, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 10/09/2023)

“Iran has a long history of training and arming proxy militia groups in the region, from Gaza to Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. It supports Hamas militarily and has helped it design and produce a domestic missile and rocket system to match the capabilities and material available in Gaza…” (“Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran,” The New York Times, 10/13/2023)

“The IRGC’s broader plan is to create a multi-front threat that can strangle Israel from all sides—Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the north and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the senior Hamas and Hezbollah members and an Iranian official.” (“Iran Helped Plot Attack On Israel Over Several Weeks,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/08/2023)

“And over the past year, there have been signs that Iran and its proxies were preparing to take a more aggressive approach toward Israel.” (“Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran,” The New York Times, 10/13/2023)

“‘An attack of such scope could only have happened after months of planning and would not have happened without coordination with Iran,’ said Lina Khatib, director of the SOAS Middle East Institute at the University of London. ‘Hamas, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, does not single-handedly make decisions to engage in war without prior explicit agreement from Iran.’” (“Iran Helped Plot Attack On Israel Over Several Weeks,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/08/2023)

Vicious Assaults On American Partners In Europe And The Middle East Have Something In Common: They Are Facilitated By Iran

‘The Military Collaboration Between Russia And Iran In Ukraine Also Seems To Have Benefited Hamas’

“Reports of direct Russian military support for Hamas remain unconfirmed, U.S. officials told me. But the military collaboration between Russia and Iran in Ukraine also seems to have benefited Hamas. Iranian and Russian cooperation on armed drones has flourished during the Ukraine war. Now, Hamas is using similar drones against Israeli targets in new ways.(“Putin is helping Hamas to hurt the West,” The Washington Post, 10/17/2023)

Iran Supplies Funding And Weapons To Terrorist Groups In The Middle East And Attacks Its Neighbors

“According to a State Department report from 2020, Iran provides about $100 million annually to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.” (“Hamas Received Weapons And Training From Iran, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 10/09/2023)

“Current and former intelligence officials confirmed that Iran had provided technical help to Hamas in manufacturing the more than 4,000 rockets and armed drones launched into Israel since Saturday.” (“Hamas Received Weapons And Training From Iran, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 10/09/2023)

“For years, Iran’s principal militia ally in Gaza was a different group: Palestinian Islamic Jihad. But gradually Tehran began bolstering its ties with Hamas leaders and increasing its support, said Ray Takeyh, senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.” (“Hamas Received Weapons And Training From Iran, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 10/09/2023)

“Israel accused Iran of trying to use long-range drones to fly small arms to Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in an evolution in Tehran’s use of unmanned vehicles against its Middle East rival. Israeli military officials said they used F-35 jet fighters to shoot down two drones launched from Iran in March last year, marking the first time the advanced planes have been used to bring down unmanned vehicles. On Monday, nearly a year after the incident, the Israeli military released video from the F-35s showing the shoot down of the drones and details of the subsequent investigation.” (“Israel Says Iran Tried to Fly Arms to Hamas Using Drones,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/07/2022)

“Iran attacked Kurdish groups in northern Iraq with drones and missiles on Monday after weeks of warnings from Tehran that it would target foreign actors it accuses of orchestrating a two-month-long antigovernment protest movement at home. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, targeted bases of Kurdish groups near the cities of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah, leaving at least two people dead and nine injured, according to Iraqi Kurdistan’s regional government. It was the second major attack in the region since the protests began, though the IRGC has fired artillery at less populated areas on multiple occasions.” (“Iran Attacks Northern Iraq, Targeting Kurdish Groups for Unrest at Home,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2022)

“The U.S. military on [November 22nd] said debris analysis has concluded that the same type of Iranian drone that Tehran has supplied to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine was used to attack a commercial tanker off the coast of Oman a week [earlier]. The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet published photos and details of its investigation into the attack on the Liberian-flagged Pacific Zircon tanker, including debris from the Shahed-136 drone itself…. ‘The Iranian attack on a commercial tanker transiting international waters was deliberate, flagrant and dangerous, endangering the lives of the ship's crew and destabilizing maritime security in the Middle East,’ Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the top U.S. Navy commander in the Middle East, said in a statement.” (“Debris Analysis Shows Iran-Made Drone Attacked Tanker -U.S. Navy,” Reuters, 11/22/2022)

“Saudi officials said Iran is poised to carry out attacks on both the kingdom and Erbil, Iraq, in an effort to distract attention from domestic protests that have roiled the country since September…. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia accused Iran of carrying out a drone and missile attack on the kingdom in 2019 that targeted the country’s oil industry.” (“Saudi Arabia, U.S. on High Alert After Warning of Imminent Iranian Attack,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/01/2022)

At The Same Time, Iran Is Producing Drones And Other Weapons That Russia Is Using To Wage War On Ukraine

“In October, the U.S. said that Iranian personnel had been in Crimea training Russian pilots to use Iranian-made drones as Moscow attempts to maintain its hold on the territory in southern Ukraine.” (“Iran Expands Military Aid to Russia Amid War in Ukraine, U.S. Says,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/15/2023)

“Iran is expanding its military partnership with Russia and has already provided hundreds of drones to Russia to pursue its war in Ukraine…” (“Iran Expands Military Aid to Russia Amid War in Ukraine, U.S. Says,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/15/2023)

“…Iran wants additional military equipment from Russia including attack helicopters, radars, and Joachim 30 combat trainer aircraft. In total, Iran is seeking billions of dollars worth of military equipment from Russia…” (“Iran Expands Military Aid to Russia Amid War in Ukraine, U.S. Says,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/15/2023)

THE WASHINGTON POST: ‘Inside The Russian Effort To Build 6,000 Attack Drones With Iran’s Help’ (The Washington Post, 8/17/2023)

“The engineers at a once-bustling industrial hub deep inside Russia were busy planning. The team had been secretly tasked with building a production line that would operate around-the-clock churning out self-detonating drones, weapons that President Vladimir Putin’s forces could use to bombard Ukrainian cities. … This was Russia’s billion-dollar weapons deal with Iran coming to life in November, 500 miles east of Moscow in the Tatarstan region. Its aim is to domestically build 6,000 drones by summer 2025 — enough to reverse the Russian army’s chronic shortages of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, on the front line.” (“Inside The Russian Effort To Build 6,000 Attack Drones With Iran’s Help,” The Washington Post, 8/17/2023)

“Last summer, Russia began receiving secret shipments of Iranian drones — many of them Shaheds — that were quickly deployed to prop up its flagging war effort, U.S. and other Western officials have said.” (“Inside The Russian Effort To Build 6,000 Attack Drones With Iran’s Help,” The Washington Post, 8/17/2023)


Related Issues: Iran Nuclear Deal, National Security, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, Iran