Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Iran’s Drones Are Western-Made

The Iranian drones that Iran had given to Russia for use in Ukraine were recently inspected, and the results showed that half of their components were US-made, while around a third of the rest were made by companies in Japan and Europe.

The ‘Wall Street Journal’ reported the news, citing a nonprofit that had analyzed the drones and proved that the Iranian drones were actually composed of parts made by the US, Europeans, and US allies.

It is difficult to characterize this report. Can we just say that it is shocking or scandalous, or that it is merely the result of Western inertia in dealing with the Iranian regime, against which international sanctions, and before them US sanctions, have been imposed?

This report undoubtedly feeds into popular conspiracy theories about the Democrats’ ties to the Iranian regime. I do not encourage or support such theories. However, the matter is simple, though it may seem more complicated for several reasons, some of which we know.

One thing we know for sure is the Democrat-American push to get the nuclear deal with Iran over the line, which began with Barack Obama, was led to inertia, or rather leniency, in dealing with Iran. It has made it easier for the leftist media in the US to ignore what is happening in Iran and go easy on it.

Some leftist news outlets have, for example, been ignoring the protests in Iran. They did not give them proper coverage even two weeks ago, though the protests began nearly 11 weeks ago and despite the killings and arbitrary arrests by the regime.

Some media outlets have not aired anything about the protests in Iran. These include television broadcasters and newspapers that have ignored them in both their news reporting and opinion columns. All of that also points to an important fact.

It is that systematic American leniency vis a vis the Iranian regime has been the norm at the administration level since Obama came to office. Meanwhile, the media has not been responsible or inquisitive in its reporting on this leniency.

We can still remember how some Democrats and Democrat-aligned media outlets reacted to the Donald Trump administration’s decision to assassinate Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, a blow the Iranian regime has yet to recover from.

All of this tells us that US leniency should come as no surprise. Indeed, several reports have already suggested that the US is not focused on gathering intelligence about Iran, which has forced the Israelis to increase their focus on gathering intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program.

The American-Democrat tendency to ignore Iran’s actions and deal with them leniently did not take the threat posed by Iranian drones seriously because they were used by the Houthis against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. They did not pay attention when they were used in Iraq and Syria, nor when Hezbollah got its hands on them.

All of that demonstrates that the US does not take the security of this region seriously. However, when these drones targeted Ukraine, the US and the West moved to look into them, how they were made, and how they were assembled.

And so, we are faced with American-Democrat negligence and leniency that tells us to put more effort into uncovering how the Iranians have been arming themselves and raising awareness about the threats they pose to the region’s security. It tells us that we should not issue warnings in whispers but with proof, loudly, repeatedly, and proficiently.