US Sends Seized Iranian Ammunition to Ukraine – In a significant move aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s defense capabilities, the United States has dispatched over 1 million rounds of Iranian ammunition, seized last year, to Ukraine. The announcement came from the U.S. military on Wednesday, underscoring a strategic effort to support Ukraine amidst ongoing security concerns.
These rounds of ammunition, initially seized by U.S. naval forces in December 2022, were originally destined for Houthi forces in Yemen, having transited from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The transfer signifies a concerted effort to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region, aligning with U.S. and U.N. sanctions.
“The U.S. is committed to working with our allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region by all lawful means, including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and through interdictions,” stated U.S. Central Command, the military branch responsible for operations in the Middle East.
Will the Ammo Make a Difference in the Ukraine War?
While this ammunition delivery is significant, some analysts believe it is unlikely to have a major impact on Ukraine’s battlefield dynamics, particularly in the face of Ukraine’s pressing need for long-range weapons and advanced air defense systems.
Meanwhile, concerns persist regarding the continued inflow of Western weapons to Kyiv, as highlighted by the absence of new funding for Ukraine in the recently passed U.S. spending bill. This lack of financial commitment underscores a growing reluctance among some Republican lawmakers to allocate funds to support Ukraine.
The ongoing conflict in Yemen, where Houthi rebels have been battling a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, further amplifies the geopolitical complexities surrounding the region. The U.S. has been urging its ally, Saudi Arabia, to halt its involvement in the conflict, putting military support on the line as a bargaining chip.
The move to deliver seized Iranian ammunition to Ukraine signals a significant step in the complex web of international relations, highlighting the evolving dynamics in the Middle East and its impact on global security.
Experts: Decision Will ‘Hopefully’ Save Lives in Ukraine and Yemen
Cliff Smith, Washington Project Director at the Middle East Forum think tank told 19FortyFive that “The war between the Iran-backed Houthis and the Saudi-backed forces has been tragic for Yemen with a catastrophic human cost for the people of Yemen. While the pro-Saudi forces have at times acted badly, Iran’s insatiable drive to gain a firm foothold on the Arabian peninsula at all costs is the biggest driver of the conflict.
“The Biden Administration’s overall policy on Iran has focused far too much on placating the regime with the misguided goal of achieving a highly dubious new nuclear deal with a regime that cannot be trusted.
Smith, also a former Republican Congressional staffer, stressed that, despite its overall confusion as regards to Middle East policy, “the Biden Administration’s seizure of Iranian weapons bound for the Houthis in Yemen is commendable, and will hopefully lead to less deaths of innocent Yemenis and diminished Iranian power in Arabia.
He added: “Turning these weapons over to the Ukrainians to fight off Russian aggression, particularly in a time of unfortunate Republican reluctance to supply our Ukrainian allies with what they need to defend their budding democracy, is a true coup. My hat is off to them on this one.”
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.