If the enemy of my enemy is my friend—who is the friend of my enemy? The United States is learning that lesson firsthand as a consequence of befriending the Palestinians, who in turn are allied with Russia, who in turn conduct arms trades with Iran. And so far, the results are “deeply disappointing” to the US.
Those were the words given out by multiple US spokespersons in an unusual public rebuke of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after the PA leader praised the role of Russia in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine is a clear violation of international law and it serves as a threat to global peace and security. And President [Vladimir] Putin is a far cry from the type of international partner or international leader needed to constructively address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said US spokesperson Vedant Patel on Monday in comments published by the State Department.
“And so I would reiterate that we are deeply disappointed to hear President Abbas’s remarks to President Putin.”
According to Haaretz, Abbas told Putin during a conference that “Russia stands by justice and international law”, while lamenting that the Palestinians don’t “trust” the US in the Middle East conflict. The Wafa News Agency reported that Abbas “praised Russia’s positions” supporting the Palestinian people in global entities, presumably the United Nations and similar groups.
The US—which has harshly condemned and sanctioned Russia over the war in Ukraine—feels very different about Putin and his country. “Russia does not stand for justice and international law,” said Patel, who went on to say that US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “in contrast, have demonstrated a US commitment for decades to seeking creative solutions and working towards a lasting peace in the region that’s required to advance stability and prosperity throughout the region.”
Unfortunately for the US, disappointing words aren’t the most troubling support a Middle East nation is giving Russia. Iran, a major sponsor of terrorism around the world, is providing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia for use in Ukraine. Patel, in his comments on Monday, said this is “part of Russia’s plan to import hundreds of Iranian UAVs of various types” and that there is evidence that they have been used on military and civilian targets.
“Russia deepening an alliance with Iran is something the whole world should, especially those in the region and across the world, frankly, should be seen as a profound threat and something that any country should pay very close attention to,” said Patel, who warned of sanctions for those doing business with Iran who have links to the Iran-Russia arms trade.
Regarding the Iranian threat, Patel expressed some optimism offset by caution. He pointed out that Iran is an “unreliable” arms dealer and some of their drones sent to Russia “have been experiencing some numerous failures.” However, he also said they are monitoring the situation “closely” and called the sale of drones a “dangerous proliferation of weapons to Russia.”
Israel apparently agrees with that assessment. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday told European Union Ambassadors in Israel that “we are following Iran’s involvement in the war in Ukraine. We see that Iran provides UAVs and in the near future may also provide additional advanced systems. The Iranians lie methodically about selling this equipment.”
Gantz, whose comments were published by Israel, reminded his listeners those aren’t the only kind of lies being told by Iran. “Of course, Iran also lies about the nuclear program. They continue their activities in terms of enrichment, development, and building protected areas for their nuclear capacities. We must increase international cooperation, build an intelligence coalition and create a credible military threat,” said Gantz.
“At the same time, Israel will continue developing and maintaining its capabilities.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 19, 2022)