Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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US Considers Supplying Ukraine with Iranian Weapons Seized by American Forces

Friday 24/February/2023 - 04:15 PM
The Reference
Wr.By: Islam Mohammad, Tr.By: Ahmed Seif EL-Din

The United States is currently considering the possibility of supplying Ukraine with Iranian weapons that have already fallen into the hands of the Ukrainian army, according to recent reports. The American army managed to seize Iranian weapons near the coast of Yemen, which were on their way to Houthi rebel militias.

However, these weapons are not believed to significantly alter the balance of the war, as they are mainly small arms for individual use and not heavy weapons capable of deterrence. Nevertheless, the transfer of Iranian weapons to Ukraine sends a message to Tehran, which supplies Russia with drones used to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure.

According to the American newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, sending Iranian weapons to Ukraine would help fight Russian forces. This move opens up new supplies of firepower that the United States and its allies can benefit from while looking for ways to meet Ukraine's military support needs and accelerate delivery during the second year of the war.

The United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held meetings to discuss new ways to accelerate the flow of weapons to Ukraine, address military supply shortages during the war, and accelerate plans to renew military stocks.

The United States has already supplied Ukraine with over 100 million rounds of ammunition and around 13,000 grenade launchers. The idea came to Washington amid increasing operations to confiscate Iranian weapons and the pressing need to secure ammunition for Ukraine.

After the US Navy seized a million rounds of ammunition on a fishing boat headed from Iran to Yemen last year, US officials discussed the idea of sending confiscated weapons to Ukraine. Following this, the US military seized over two thousand rifles from a small fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman.

Last January, the French army found three thousand assault rifles, nearly six hundred thousand rounds of ammunition, and more than twenty anti-tank missiles on board another fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman.

The transfer of Iranian weapons to Ukraine is still under consideration, and it remains to be seen if this will be the next step in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Ukraine has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region since 2014, with occasional flare-ups in fighting resulting in thousands of deaths. The conflict has become a geopolitical flashpoint, with Western powers including the US supporting Ukraine, and Russia opposing any Western interference in the region. The US has already provided Ukraine with significant military aid, including anti-tank missiles and radar systems, but some officials in Washington believe that providing additional weaponry seized from Iran could give Ukraine an edge in the conflict.

However, the proposal to provide Iran-seized weapons to Ukraine is not without controversy. Some experts have warned that the move could escalate the conflict, with Russia potentially responding by increasing its support for the separatists. Others argue that the weapons in question are unlikely to make a significant difference on the battlefield, and that the US should focus on providing more sophisticated equipment such as anti-aircraft missiles to deter Russian air attacks.

In any case, the proposal is likely to face opposition from Russia and possibly other countries such as China, which have expressed concern over the US's military support for Ukraine. It remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will ultimately decide to move forward with the plan, but the discussion highlights the ongoing tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine, as well as the broader geopolitical stakes involved in the conflict.