Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has escalated his war on Ukraine out of sheer desperation. Knowing that his military is losing to Ukraine’s military on the ground, Putin has taken cowardly revenge by unleashing a reign of terror on Ukraine’s civilian population far from the front line. Russian missiles have targeted Ukrainian homes, playgrounds, electrical power facilities, and water supplies. Many innocent people have been killed in the onslaughts, including children.
Putin’s state terror campaign makes him a war criminal. And he is getting plenty of help from the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, the Iranian regime.
Iran has supplied what are known as “kamikaze” drones, which the Russians have used to target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and terrorize Ukrainian civilians. These drones crash into their targets, exploding on impact with deadly results.
The drone attacks in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and other locations across the country have reportedly caused more than 60 civilian casualties and infrastructure damage between October 14 and 17, according to United Nations humanitarian sources. On October 17th alone, Russia launched nearly 30 kamikaze drones in an attack on Kyiv. A pregnant woman and her partner were killed after one of the drones struck a residential building.
These civilians have been killed or injured in just a few days as a result of Russia’s continuation of its terror campaign, aided and abetted by the Iranian regime. Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak accused Iran, with good reason, of being “responsible for the murders of Ukrainians.”
Now it is being reported that Iran will be sending Russia not only more attack drones, but also Iranian-made Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar surface-to-surface precision-guided missiles to replenish Russia’s own dwindling supply of missiles with such capabilities.
Not surprisingly, the Iranian regime has denied any involvement in providing its drones or other weapons to support Russia’s continued war in Ukraine, saying it “has not and will not” do so. However, the evidence proves otherwise, even as Russia has tried to conceal the original source of the drones by repainting the drones in Russian colors and renaming them. This is yet one more example of the Iranian regime’s flagrant lies to cover up its horrific misdeeds.
If Iran’s theocrats have no compunctions about slaughtering many of their own citizens who dare to peacefully protest the regime’s repression, including at least 23 children, they certainly won’t care how many Ukrainian civilians their weapons kill.
Iran’s complicity in Putin’s war crimes should have been the last straw that finally convinced the Biden administration to end its quest to restore the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. But alas, we have seen no signs yet that the Biden administration is ready to put the final nail in the coffin of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Instead, the Biden administration’s tepid response to Iran’s military support for Putin’s war crimes was for the Treasury Department to slap a few more sanctions on Iran. These sanctions, which were imposed on an air transportation service provider, three other companies, and an individual for their involvement with the Iranian drones, will likely be lifted, along with other sanctions, if the JCPOA comes back to life.
“Russia is making increasingly desperate choices to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine, particularly in the face of our unprecedented sanctions and export controls,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson. “The United States is committed to strictly enforcing our sanctions against both Russia and Iran and holding accountable Iran and those supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
That is a hollow threat coming from the feckless Biden administration. By being willing to continue its indirect talks with Iran, in which Russia has been serving as an intermediary, the Biden administration is turning a blind eye to the evil alliance between the Iranian and Russian regimes. Iran’s provision of weaponry to Russia is facilitating Russia’s barbaric murder of innocent civilians in Ukraine. The Iranian regime should be treated as an international pariah, just like the Russian regime it is supporting militarily.
The JCPOA never made any sense. From its beginning, it lacked an effective, anytime-anyplace, internationally verifiable inspection mechanism. Iran declared its military facilities off limits. Moreover, one of the JCPOA’s worst flaws was the omission of the development, testing, and launching of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads f rom its list of prohibitions imposed on Iran. Iran’s missile program has moved full steam ahead without any consequences. A restored JCPOA will not solve any of these problems. At best, it will buy just a few years before the Iranian regime is free to move ahead and produce nuclear weapons without any restraints. More likely, in the absence of an airtight inspection mechanism, the Iranian regime will cheat before then.
Moreover, restoring the JCPOA at the cost of front-loading sanctions relief for Iran and the unfreezing of Iranian assets to the tune of approximately $100 billion will provide the Iranian regime with a huge windfall right off the bat. A regime willing to slaughter its own people in the streets will certainly not use that money to help its people overcome the hardships that they are enduring. Iran’s thugs instead will be free to use their windfall from a new JCPOA deal to develop more sophisticated weaponry for Iran itself, its Middle East terrorist proxies, and Russia to use against helpless civilians.