May 19, 2024

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An Iranian attack on Israel could be bad for Russia's war in Ukraine

An Iranian attack on Israel could be bad for Russia's war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi hold a meeting in Tehran, Iran, in July 2022.
Sergei Savostyanov/AFP/Getty Images

  • An Iranian attack on Israel may affect Russia's war in Ukraine.
  • Iran is a major arms supplier and economic partner of Russia.
  • It is also possible that a broader conflict in the Middle East could enhance China's regional influence at Russia's expense.

The Iranian attack on Israel on Saturday is bad not only for the Middle East but also for Russia's war in Ukraine as new fault lines emerge between Moscow and Tehran.

Michelle Greset, senior policy researcher at rand, An American research center described in a commentary how a broader conflict in the Middle East could affect Russia. The comment was first published on National interest Thursday Magazine – Days before Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday.

Gherisi's article came in the wake of the attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on April 1. Israel did not claim responsibility for the attack, but Iran held it responsible and vowed revenge.

“Although Moscow is arguably benefiting from the chaos in the Middle East — diverting the West’s attention and resources from Ukraine — it has much to lose if the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalates into a broader war,” Greset wrote.

Russia has been working to establish itself as a military and diplomatic player in the Middle East for years.

Greset wrote that Moscow has benefited from instability in Syria Libya To establish itself as a guarantor of regional security, but escalation of the conflict in the Middle East will not have the same effect.

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This is partly because Moscow is preoccupied with its war in Ukraine, she wrote. Russia's partnership with Iran has also deepened in the past two years, as the Russian economy, under heavy sanctions, has become increasingly isolated.

Iran is now considered an important military supplier to Russia. “Iranian”Ghost fleetIt has also been transporting Russian oil around the world since the war in Ukraine began, keeping oil revenues flowing to Moscow.

But if Iran becomes embroiled in a broader conflict, it will not be able to provide the same level of support to Russia.

“A broader regional conflict, especially if it involves a direct conflict between Israel and Iran, would limit Iran’s ability to continue to serve as a military supplier to Russia,” Greset wrote.

She added, “Tehran may request more support when Russia's ability to provide it is limited.”

the G7 countries They are already considering imposing additional sanctions on Iran following its attack on Israel, which may happen It extends to Russia.

“We will consider imposing additional sanctions on Iran in close cooperation with our partners, specifically in relation to its drone and missile programmes,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Sunday.

A broader conflict in the Middle East could strengthen China's influence in the region at Moscow's expense

Although Russia is preoccupied with the war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has still managed to position himself as a potential power broker in the Middle East amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

But Putin's plan may collapse if the war spills over into a regional area, as Beijing is also vying to play the role of peacemaker.

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“Russia will be particularly sensitive to Chinese attempts to encroach on its influence in the Middle East,” Greset wrote in her commentary.

This is especially true since Beijing was able to achieve results in March last year, brokering a détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as Grisset noted.

Since Russia's heavily sanctioned economy is already dependent on China, it will be more vulnerable to Beijing's whims if Moscow cannot cling to whatever global influence it still enjoys.

In a statement on Sunday, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs She expressed her “deep concern” about what she called “another dangerous escalation” in the region.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called for restraint, and said that it expects countries in the region to “solve existing problems through political and diplomatic means.”