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As Russia executes its immoral war against Ukraine, it has become apparent that over 300 of the drones that the Russian army has used to rain down over the Ukrainian civilian and military infrastructures have been manufactured in Iran and sold to Moscow. We also have learned that the Iranians are now manufacturing drones on Russian soil. Just this week, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said that the relationship between Iran and Russia is developing into a “full-grown partnership.” He added that “the support is flowing both ways”, and that Moscow offers “an unprecedented level of military and technical support” including collaborating between the two nations “on areas like weapons development and training.” There is also a growing concern that “Russia is providing Iran with advanced military components”, which could include highly sophisticated air missile defense systems such as the Russian S-400, which is considered the most capable air missile defense system yet invented.

As these two adversaries to US national security interests develop deeper partnerships, this can only empower them and increase their appetite for war, threatening to destabilize the entire Middle East and of course, posing an existential threat to the state of Israel.

About the Speaker: Dr. Stephen J. Blank is Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program. He has published over 900 articles and monographs on Soviet/Russian, U.S., Asian, and European military and foreign policies, testified frequently before Congress on Russia, China, and Central Asia, consulted for the Central Intelligence Agency, major think tanks and foundations, chaired major international conferences in the U.S. and in Florence; Prague; and London, and has been a commentator on foreign affairs in the media in the U.S. and abroad.

Blank has advised major corporations on investing in Russia and is a consultant for the Gerson Lehrmann Group. He has published or edited 15 books, most recently Russo-Chinese Energy Relations: Politics in Command (London: Global Markets Briefing, 2006). He has also published Natural Allies. Regional Security in Asia and Prospects for Indo-American Strategic Cooperation (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2005).

He is currently completing a book entitled Light From the East: Russia’s Quest for Great Power Status in Asia to be published in 2014 by Ashgate. Dr. Blank is also the author of The Sorcerer as Apprentice: Stalin’s Commissariat of Nationalities (Greenwood, 1994); and the co-editor of The Soviet Military and the Future (Greenwood, 1992)

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