The United States has begun sending missiles and other military assistance to Iraq, maintaining radio silence on Iranian arms shipments to Syria through Iraq and Iraqi airspace.
Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmidt, “U.S. Sends Arms to Aid Iraq Fight With Extremists,” New York Times, December 25, 2013.
Has anyone in the U.S. stopped to think about the propriety of supplying Iraq with missiles and other military equipment, while at the same time Iran, violating U.N. sanctions, flies and sends arms and other military supplies to Syria through Iraq and Iraqi airspace to assist Bashar al-Assad and his murderous regime?
See Reuters, “Iran, Syria reiterate alliance as Assad government says it’s winning the war; Syrian ministerial delegation travels to Tehran to discuss trade; Iranian vice president says that his country stands alongside Syria in its fight against ‘axis of evil,’” Haaretz, November 30, 2013.
Mark Landler, “On Iran and Syria, Tests of Diplomacy Intertwine,” New York Times, December 19, 2013.
Reuters, “US, Iraq work together to combat Syria spillover effects; United States to provide Iraq with shared intel, F-16 jets in attempt to curb Iran weapons flyovers to Syria,” The Jerusalem Post, August 16, 2013.
Ned Parker, “U.S. official: Iraq continues to allow Iranian overflights to Syria,” Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2013.
Howard LaFranchi, “John Kerry urges Iraq to inspect Iranian overflights to Syria; Secretary of State John Kerry tells Iraq it must curb Iran’s use of Iraqi airspace to aid Syrian regime, but a shrinking US presence is leaving it with less sway over postwar events,” The Christian Science Monitor, March 25,2013.
Kerry chides Iraq over Iran flights to Syria; US secretary of state tells leaders in Iraq to stop Iranian overflights of arms to Syria, saying they are “problematic”. al Jazeera, 24 Mar 2013 (18:30).
U. N. Security Council Resolition 1747 (2007) probinits Iranian arms shipments to other countries, as follows
The Security Council
5. Decides that Iran shall not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel, and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in the territory of Iran;
–See SC/8980 (24 March 2007), reproducing the text of Resolution S/1747 (2007).
Obama’s failure to publicly address this issue is notable, but the failure of the press to raise this question is even more noteworthy.
How can the U.S.provide military assistance to a country which, by allowing Iranian overflights of its territory with arms for Syria, flagrantly violates the U.N. sanctions against Iran?
Is it even legal under U.S. law for the U.S. to provide assistance to an Iraqi regime which is violating the Iran sanctions regime?
Shouldn’t the U.S. at least insist on Iraq halting such Iranian arms shipsments to Syria through its airspace or by land as a condition precedent for any military assistance?
Shouldn’t Congress weigh in on this issue, as it involves the expenditure of U.S. funds?
Is there a problem here?
What is the strategic rationale behind these actions?
The Trenchant Observer