Pentagon 'Alleviates' Ukraine Arms Shortage By Sending Seized Iranian Weapons

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Oct 05, 2023 - 02:00 AM

Is this Biden's attempt at a solution to the problem of blocked Ukraine aid for the time being? CNN is reporting that the US administration is set to transfer weapons it seized from Iran to Kiev...

"The US will transfer thousands of seized Iranian weapons and rounds of ammunition to Ukraine, in a move that could help to alleviate some of the critical shortages facing the Ukrainian military as it awaits more money and equipment from the US and its allies, US officials said."

US CENTCOM revealed Wednesday that the process has already started, with over one million seized rounds of Iranian ammunition having been given to Ukraine forces thus far.

"The government obtained ownership of these munitions on July 20, 2023, through the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)," the Pentagon statement explained.

Previously, the Justice Department announced over the summer the seizure of "over 9,000 rifles, 284 machine guns, approximately 194 rocket launchers, over 70 anti-tank guided missiles, and over 700,000 rounds of ammunition." These had been obtained by the US Navy from foreign vessels caught "trafficking" in Gulf regional waters.

Some European allies, such as the French, have also announced their own Iranian weapons seizures of late. The majority of these were believed bound for Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are the Shia allies of Iran currently fighting the Saudis and Emirates. 

CENTCOM has tallied that among the US and its partner forces, a total of 5,000 weapons and 1.6 million rounds of ammunition have been captured. Tehran has held this and oil seizures up as examples of Washington "piracy". 

The Pentagon only days ago announced that it is running out of weapons for Ukraine, having just "months" left in approved supplies, at a sensitive moment that support from among the Western allies in general is waning.

Iranian, Chinese & Russian weapons seized by the US Navy en route to Yemen from Iran in undated photo. Source: US DOJ

Last Friday, US defense officials had informed Congress that it has "exhausted nearly all available security assistance funding for Ukraine" - including air defense weaponry and ammunition, leaving Ukraine more vulnerable as the Russian onslaught continues.

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In the below brief analysis, the hawkish think tank The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is hailing this Biden policy as one which "turns the tables" on both Tehran and Moscow...

The U.S. transfer of Iranian arms to Ukraine turns the tables on both Tehran and Moscow, which have doubled down on their defense partnership following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Tehran provides drones to Moscow and helps the Russians localize their production. In March 2023, Iran agreed to purchase 24 advanced Sukhoi Su-35 fighters from Russia, significantly upgrading the capabilities of the Islamic Republic’s air force. In 201920212022, and 2023, Russia and Iran conducted joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman. Russia and Iran are also sharing intelligence and cooperating in a joint effort to push U.S. military forces out of the region.