Kyiv, Tel Aviv unite their efforts against "common enemy"?
    Military analysts on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  21 February 2023 - 15:18

    Vadim Mansurov

    Ukraine and Israel are on the verge of creating a military bloc, no doubt designed to confront Iran. As the leading Israeli news portal "Ynet" pointed out directly, following the visit of Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to Kyiv, Ukraine and Israel have agreed to "deepen cooperation in the international arena against Iran". It was stressed that in a meeting with the Israeli minister, President Zelenskyy said the two countries now have a "common enemy".

    How deep can such cooperation go, and how will it affect Tehran? Kyiv's sharply condemning reaction to the use of Iranian weapons against the AFU and civilians has been ripe for a long time. Tehran responded accordingly: in January this year, the Iranian Foreign Ministry described as hostile and provocative the position of advisor to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office Mykhaylo Podolyak in relation to the attack on the military facility in Isfahan. "Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani condemned the hostile and provocative stance of the Ukrainian presidential office adviser and called his statements regarding the recent hostile action against the military facility in Isfahan suspicious," the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

    Additionally, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Ukrainian ambassador and demanded "official and clear explanations" from the Ukrainian government.

    We shall remind you that on the night of January 29, the Iranian Defence Ministry reported the attack on an industrial military complex in the city of Isfahan. Later, there were explosions at several other sites linked to the Islamic Republic's defence complex.

    The next day, Mykhailo Podolyak published a post on Twitter in which, among other things, he said: "Explosive night in Iran - drone and missile production, oil refineries. Ukraine did warn you."

    However, as Ukrainian military expert and military and political observer of the Information Resistance group, Oleksandr Kovalenko, noted in a conversation with Caliber.Az, there are now very few reports in open sources that Ukrainian-Israeli cooperation has already taken place as a fact.

    "Obviously, there is an unconditional interest on the part of both Ukraine and Israel to unite their efforts against Iran, which has never concealed that in its foreign policy, it uses methods that are close to outright terrorism. Israel suffers from Iranian proxy powers, as does Saudi Arabia and many other countries in the Middle East. They also suffer from Tehran's interference in their internal affairs and its various hybrid influences. And Ukraine suffers from Iran's supplies to the Russian Federation of weapons such as the kamikaze drones Shahed 131 and Shahed 136, the strike and reconnaissance Mohajer 6, etc. By the way, the Russian army also receives Iranian military gear," the Ukrainian military expert said.

    Moreover, according to some information, Kovalenko specified, bilateral military-technical cooperation between Iran and Russia is expanding as Russia receives new samples of Iranian UAVs, and in the future, it may receive ballistic missiles as well as artillery shells for military actions against Ukraine.

    "In return, Russia is giving Iran what it considers its 'exclusive technology': it is known that Tehran has been promised a Su-35 fighter jet, it may go after the S-400 SAM system. All this would certainly increase its capacity to improve its military-industrial complex, including its means of destruction, which cannot suit Israel or any other party that perceives Iran as a potential enemy. Therefore, in principle, such agreements (between Ukraine and Israel - ed.) could certainly take place. Undoubtedly, at any rate, the positions of Israel and Ukraine are closer than ever, and I would consider it a serious omission not to use this situation to significantly improve bilateral relations, including countering Iran. But it seems to me that the relevant conclusions were drawn long ago, and such cooperation will surely take place," Kovalenko believes.

    At the same time, he notes, Podolyak's statement does not directly prove that Ukraine has anything to do with what happened in Iran at certain sites. On the other hand, Ukraine has sufficient experience to study Iranian kamikaze drones Shahed 131 and Shahed 136, as well as the undamaged Mohajer 6 which was recently captured.

    "We have all the information about their structure, absolutely all the details in these drones - they were completely disassembled and thoroughly studied. Accordingly, we can share this information with our partners, including Israel. This cooperation could be very fruitful, especially amid Israel's fight against terrorist threats emanating from Iran. In addition, during the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian occupying forces, the AFU captured as trophies various Russian military equipment: surface-to-air missile systems, radars, ECM equipment, and so on. It is well known that such equipment is used in large quantities by the Iranian armed forces. And now Iran, in fact, is using those technologies that the AFU has been studying in detail for more than a year and knows all their vulnerabilities. That is why today Ukraine, as a country that has access to absolutely all ranges of Russian arms, including air defence components, can share the data with others, including Israel, to enhance the effectiveness of countermeasures against Iranian air defence systems. This would be quite logical," Kovalenko said.

    As for the probable transfer of Russian nuclear technologies to Iran, in the opinion of the Ukrainian expert, it is a too high bar, which Moscow is not ready to set - the critical moment has not come yet. However, the fact of the transfer of such very exclusive Russian equipment as the Su-35 and S-400 SAM system already speaks for itself and, apparently, Iran will have to pay back not only for its UAVs but also for ballistic missiles, artillery shells, and other armaments.

    Israeli officer and military analyst Yigal Levin generally agrees with Kovalenko's opinion. He also believes that it is too early to talk about a specific military coalition against Iran, but there is a fact - Ukrainians are being killed by Iranian weapons, and this pushes Israel and Ukraine into "one trench".

    "So the Israeli minister's visit to Ukraine, apart from opening the embassy and discussing financial aid to Kyiv, was of course also about discussing the 'Iranian issue'.

    It was not a topic on the sidelines or a conversation in between, the Iranian issue is one of the important points that was discussed. Iran is a common enemy of the two countries, this is a fact, and if we do not speak openly about a coalition against it, we imply a lot. Israel, let me remind you, is not a member of NATO or other military blocs, it always acts on its own. But cooperation, interaction in the field of our countries' foreign interests, and Iranian threats will only increase, I have no doubt about that," Levin said.


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