Iran’s alleged supply of drones to Moscow remains high on the agenda at the United Nations and in Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to the United States.

Miguel de Serpa Soares, head of UN legal affairs, told the UN Security Council Wednesday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would “continue to prepare” reports on UNSC Resolution 2231.

France, the United Kingdom and the United States last week submitted a letter at the UN arguing any supply of drones by Iran to Russia would violate the resolution, which endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Wednesday the letter broke the UN Charter by seeking to influence the general secretary.

Antonio Guterres has reported twice a year, in June and December, on the implementation of Resolution 2231, including inspections of military parts found in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Ukraine, France, the UK and US argue that the resolution contains a provision banning Iran from exporting without prior UN approval certain military goods, including drones.

Damage in Kyiv from what Ukraine said was an Iranian drone, on October 17, 2022

‘National security interests’

The alleged drone supply has also been highlighted this week in the US by Herzog, with Israel’s relations with Russia under the spotlight as Israel’s November 1 elections approach. Herzog pushed back Tuesday against Ukrainian demands from Ukraine for defense assistance, telling an event at the Atlantic Council “there are things we cannot supply due to national security interests.”

But while the Israeli government refuses to give military aid to Ukraine for fear of upsetting its relationship with Russia, the issue has lingered in Israeli politics since Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai tweeted October 16 in favor of sending support as there was “no longer any doubt where Israel should be in this bloody conflict.”

The Jerusalem Post Thursday hit back at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over his latest broadside, pointing out in an editorial that Iran “developed drones because it can’t build advanced warplanes…[had] exported drones all around the Middle East and targeted Israel for years, and that Ukraine… [had] not backed Israel in the past…” The Post added that rockets used by Hamas and Hezbollah “sometimes…have origins in Russian technology.”

The newspaper argued it took years to deploy and integrate air defense systems and that “it’s not clear even” that Israeli defenses were “appropriate for Kyiv.” Zelenskyy had told Haaretz newspaper that an Iran-Russia “alliance…would not have happened if your politicians had made one decision at a time.” The Ukrainian leader said appeals to Israel went back to 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.

‘Co-existence and weakening extremists’

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu – who in 2019 adorned his Likud Party HQ with a huge picture of himself and Putin – told USA Today in an interview published October 21 that he hoped the Russian president would rethink “his vision of reconstituting a great Russian kingdom.

Herzog’s meeting with President Joe Biden saw the US leader call for a ‘two-state solution’ in Israel-Palestine and welcome the maritime agreement due to be signed Thursday between Israel and Lebanon. The Times of Israel reported that US officials had raised concern over escalating violence in the West Bank, which has so far barely surfaced as an issue in the Israeli election.

A White House statement said the two leaders had “discussed the importance of promoting co-existence and weakening extremists who promote hatred and violence.” This year’s growing death toll in the West Bank has reportedly increased support there for Islamic Jihad, which has close links to Tehran.

Biden called the agreement with Lebanon “a historic breakthrough” that took “some real guts…and persistent diplomacy.” Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Tehran-allied Hezbollah, said in early October his party would respect the agreement, which could allow both countries to benefit from offshore gas deposits but which does not cover the land border.

G4 Protest Special - Evening (12\')
Titre Aval
G4 Protest Special - Evening (12\')

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