TEHRAN (Iran News) – Israel has clinched a deal with the United States to receive 12 CH-53K helicopters from the American arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp and two American Boeing Co KC-46 refueling planes. A statement by the Israeli ministry of military affairs also says the deal includes an option to receive an additional six helicopters.
The deal will cost an estimated total price of around $3.1 billion. The funds will come from military aid the U.S. hands out to dictatorships and apartheid regimes annually, the latter of which receives the biggest chunk of that money. $3.8 billion is the total amount that the regime receives from America annually in military aid.
So it’s perhaps important to highlight that the biggest losers of this deal are U.S. taxpayers, especially the lower and working-class American families who are financially struggling, even more, this year amid the Pandemic. Americans are suffering from the biggest infections and deaths from Covid-19 in the world. This is taxpayers’ money that could have gone to use, serving Americans instead of sending it in the form of military hardware to the biggest terrorist entity in West Asia and adding to its arsenal of helicopters to attack the Palestinians.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute had it right, the Pandemic has had no effect on the transfer or sale of military hardware. The monitoring research group said “arms sales increased even as the global economy contracted by 3.1 percent during the first year of the pandemic. ‘The industry giants were largely shielded by sustained government demand for military goods and services.”
Some analysts say the timing of the deal is to perhaps try and influence the duration of the terms in the ongoing talks in Vienna between Iran and the P4+1 group – Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal. The U.S. delegation is also in Vienna but does not negotiate directly with Iran or sit at the negotiating table because Washington withdrew from the accord under former President Donald Trump.
That means mediators go back and forth with messages from the negotiating table and the very nearby location of the American delegates.
Israel vehemently and regularly voices its disapproval at the negotiations let alone any lasting agreement. This is while Iran’s lead negotiator in the Austrian capital, Ali Bagheri Kani among the other party’s envoys, have reported some good progress during the latest round of talks aimed at removing the illegal and unilateral American sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran returning to the set of retaliatory steps it took away from the deal in several stages in line with its legal contractual rights under the agreement.
However, other analysts say the deal to send helicopters and refueling planes will not have any impact on the talks, but rather satisfy Israel’s (alleged) military superiority in the region.
After all, U.S. envoys have been shuffling from Washington to Tel Aviv, over the past month or two, more times than mediators have been shuffling between Iranian and the American delegations in Vienna.
What is surprising is the silence of the other parties to the nuclear deal of advanced offensive military aircraft being sent to the source of instability and terror in West Asia.
When Iran made technological advances last week by sending three research devices with the aim of reaching orbit, another milestone in the country’s space research program. The West made a lot of noise.
So, when it comes to peaceful space research, the U.S. State Department said, “The United States remains concerned with Iran’s development of space launch vehicles, which pose a significant proliferation concern.” Germany also urged Iran to stop sending satellite launch rockets into space, while France said, “these activities are all the more regrettable as they come at a time when we are making progress in the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.”
An Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman noted, “as previously stated, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the right to use peaceful technologies in the path of its scientific-research development according to international standards, and in so doing, it will not await the opinions of some countries that seek to impose their dictates.”
The West claims that Iran can use its indigenously made rockets to place a nuclear warhead. Critics argue the argument lacks any merit as almost every intelligence agency in the world, including that of Israel, acknowledges Tehran has no intention of seeking nuclear weapons. Its missile program is for defensive purposes.
Western parties involved in the Vienna talks (preaching about diplomacy) issued their prescript statements of condemnation of Iran’s space research advancements, yet they have not said a single word denouncing Israel receiving 12 war helicopters and two more refueling planes. Diplomacy? gone out of the window when it comes to serving Israel’s dangerous thirst for military hardware.
No words to even denounce the timing of the military deal is a very clear and unfortunate sign of the double standards, which analysts say they have become accustomed to the West exercising.
The first helicopters are expected to arrive in Israel in 2026, while the refueling planes are expected to be delivered before 2025. The regime is making attempts to bring forward the delivery of the refueling planes, and reportedly wants four of these eventually.
Israeli media have of course linked the refueling planes with a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israeli warplanes have the ability to fire missiles, the regime can, for example, flatten an entire neighborhood of residential buildings in the besieged Gaza Strip to the ground but when it comes to an attack on Iran that idea or plan gets a little more complex.
For the past two decades, reports have surfaced that Israeli warplanes cannot travel roughly 2000 kilometers to reach Iran and strike its nuclear facilities. The long journey would require planes that can refuel the fighter jets which the U.S. has but has refused to carry out that mission on behalf of Israel.
The signing of the new deal has reportedly made the same headlines feature across all Israeli media and around some parts of the globe as well.
Speaking to U.S. media some current and former senior Israeli military officials and experts say that Israel lacks the ability to stage an attack that could destroy, or even significantly delay, Iran’s [peaceful] nuclear program, at least not anytime soon. One current high-ranking Israeli official told the New York Times, it would take at least two years to just prepare an attack that could cause damage to Iran’s nuclear project.
Here are some (not so quick) fire questions for the sake of clarity.
Q. Can Israeli warplanes travel from the occupied territories to Iran to target Iran’s nuclear program?
A. No. Hence the refueling airplanes from Boeing.
Q. Can Israel fly its jets from a country closer to Iran, that way not requiring refueling planes?
A. Yes. But that country hosting the Israeli jets will get a taste of Iran’s missiles too.
Q. Can Israel with the refueling planes take out Iran’s nuclear facilities which are spread across the country?
A. No. The regime is struggling with a small called the besieged Gaza Strip.
Q. Can Israel jets with refueling planes damage Iran’s nuclear facilities?
A. Not according to former Israeli military intelligence officers.
Q. Can Israel jets with refueling planes drop a bomb on an Iranian site?
A. No. Iran has built up advanced defense systems and radar capabilities
Q. For argument’s sake. What if an Israeli fighter jet passes the defense systems and manages to launch a strike?
A. The jet won’t make it back to the occupied territories.
Q. What does that mean?
A. Jets fly from a base or airport, an Iranian missile would have reached and destroyed that base or airport before the Israeli jet returns.
Q. Where would that Israeli jet land?
A. It would need to search for the closest airport or airbase.
Q. Like somewhere in the Persian Gulf?
A. Doesn’t make a difference. Whoever doesn’t want an airport or airbase intact can make an offer.
Q. So why get the refueling airplanes?
A. Ask the American taxpayers first. Any Israeli attack would need a green light from Washington.
If you want to know about the nature of Iran’s retaliatory attacks and the precision of Iranian missiles that can travel up to 2000 kilometers and strike the intended target, Iraq’s Ain al-Assad in the aftermath of the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani is a good example.