The Middle East: Risks and Challenges for Ukraine

February 6, 2023
UkraineWorld spoke to Ihor Semyvolos, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Photo credit: AFP; Facts for a Better Future/Flickr

Key points – in our brief, #UkraineWorldAnalysis:

1. On Israel's position regarding Iran's supply of weapons to Russia

  • Israel is trying to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons and delivery platforms. The strikes on Iran were aimed at ballistic missile production sites that are potentially capable of reaching Israeli territory.

2. On the transfer of Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia

  • Negotiations are ongoing, but the situation is unclear. Moscow and Tehran do not trust each other. Moscow has also promised Iran both planes and air defense equipment, but handing over the planes would mean a confrontation with neutral Israel. Moscow does not want to spoil relations with Israel, while Iran also does not want to transfer missiles to Russia, because this would escalate the war.
  • The Iranian population does not favor their country’s involvement in the war, because it does not correspond to the values ​​of the Islamic Revolution.

3. On Iran's nuclear program

  • Iran's nuclear program poses a potential danger to a large number of countries in the Middle East. The threat of a major war between Israel and Iran is real. Israel will try as much as possible to destroy Iranian offensive capabilities. In case of such a war, it will undermine Russian capabilities in the war with Ukraine and remove a link from the axis of evil. It will also show that all countries side with Russia how dangerous this sort of cooperation can be.
  • Russia has joint plans with Iran. We are already seeing the merger of banking systems as an attempt to mitigate the impact of sanctions, as well as a North-South transport corridor.
Ihor Semyvolos, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies

This material was prepared with financial support from the International Renaissance Foundation.

Related articles

November 20, 2020

Ep.38 - Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh: What’s Happening in Eastern Europe?

What’s happening in the Eastern Partnership countries - Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus - and with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? What will be the consequences of Maia...
February 10, 2022

Ep. № 68 - Ukraine in early 2022: living under the threat of Russian invasion

What is it like to live under a constant threat of Russian invasion? What are the possible scenarios in the coming weeks? Listen to our new podcast.