Legacy Articles On Iran

2024-04-15 Spotlight on Vatanpour, Iran’s “Most Active” Airbase (Michael Rubin)
2024-04-15 Iran Hints It Will Supply Air Defense Weaponry to Palestinians (Michael Rubin)
2024-04-15 Iran Rationalizes Russia’s Pro-Arab Position on Disputed Islands (Michael Rubin)

2024-03-01 Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Seeks Dominant Role in Maritime Development (Michael Rubin)
2024-03-01 Iran’s Supreme Leader Announces Maritime Development Strategy (Michael Rubin)
2024-03-01 Iran Seeks To Assert Global Leadership in Determining International Cyber Policy (Michael Rubin)
2024-03-01 Belarus and Iran Form Alliance Against the West (Paris Gordon)

2024-01-03 Iran Announces Integration Of Artificial Intelligence Into Drone Fleet (Michael Rubin)
2024-01-03 Iran Equips Drones With Heat-Seeking Missiles (Michael Rubin)
2024-01-03 Iran Demands Disarmament Of Kurdish Dissidents In Iraq (Michael Rubin)

2023-11-08 Iran Promoting Medical Tourism To Generate Hard Currency (Michael Rubin)
2023-11-08 Iran’s Supreme Leader Accuses West of Ukraine War Conspiracy (Michael Rubin)

2023-10-03 Iran Claims Development of Cruise Missiles Guided by Artificial Intelligence (Michael Rubin)
2023-10-03 Requirements for Desirable Iranian Oil Ministry Jobs Revealed (Michael Rubin)
2023-10-03 Iran’s Supreme Leader Warns of Declining Fervor of New Generation (Michael Rubin)

2023-08-25 Iran Claims New Flight Simulator Will Enhance National Power (Michael Rubin)
2023-08-25 Iran’s Simorgh Transport Plane Makes Maiden Flight (Michael Rubin)
2023-08-25 Iran Indicates Plans To Commercialize Nuclear Technology, Sell Heavy Water (Michael Rubin)
2023-08-25 Iran’s Persistent and Growing Influence in Latin America (Ryan Berg)

2023-06-01 Iran Unveils New Thermobaric Warhead (Michael Rubin)
2023-06-01 Iran Opens New Helicopter, Drone Base in Southeastern Provincial Capital (Michael Rubin)
2023-06-01 Iran Ready To Help Syria Rebuild Its Defense Infrastructure (Michael Rubin)

2023-05-01 Iran Installs New Precision Missiles on Army Helicopters (Michael Rubin)
2023-05-01 Iran Seeks To Reestablish Embassy and Consulate in Saudi Arabia Before Hajj (Michael Rubin)
2023-05-01 Iran Considers Rapprochement With Pakistan (Michael Rubin)

2023-04-01 Iran Unveils Updated Yasin Training Jet With Possible Close Combat Applications (Michael Rubin)
2023-04-01 Iran’s Increased Defense Budget Leading to More Arms Exports (Michael Rubin)
2023-04-01 Iran Capitalizing on Post-Earthquake Conditions To Deepen Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)

2023-03-01 Iran Praises Revolutionary Guards’ Proxy Afghan Brigade (Michael Rubin)
2023-03-01 Iran Profiles the Female Police Seeking To Quell the Women’s Protests (Michael Rubin)

2023-02-01 Iran Moves Sea-Borne Drone Fleet Closer to Reality (Michael Rubin)
2023-02-01 Iranian General Reiterates Goal To Expel United States From Region (Michael Rubin)
2023-02-01 Iran Fires Indigenous Torpedoes From Submarines for First Time (Michael Rubin)

2023-01-01 Iran Asks Tajikistan Not To Use Iranian Drones in Dispute With Kyrgyzstan (Michael Rubin)
2023-01-01 Iran Claim of Hypersonic Missile Capability Probably Exaggerated (Michael Rubin)

2022-11-01 Iran Vaunts Persian Language as Marker of National Identity Despite Country’s Ethnic Diversity (Michael Rubin)
2022-11-01 Iran’s Proposal To Build Railroads and Housing in Syria Could Enrich IRGC (Michael Rubin)
2022-11-01 Iran Lauds Air Defense, Claims Sepehr Radar Will Soon Be Operational (Michael Rubin)

2022-10-01 Iran Wants Sukhoi-35 Fighters From Russia (Michael Rubin)
2022-10-01 Iran Intercepts Crystal Meth Shipment From Afghanistan (Michael Rubin)

2022-09-01 Iran Reportedly Using New Carrier, Submarines To Expand Reach of Drones (Michael Rubin)
2022-09-01 Iran Unveils Stealth Speedboats (Michael Rubin)
2022-09-01 Iran’s Flawed Statistics and Growing Drug Addiction (Michael Rubin)

2022-08-01 Iranian F-14 Crash Highlights Iran’s Need for New Fighter Contract (Michael Rubin)
2022-08-01 Iranian Trade With China Is Up, but So Is Political Risk (Michael Rubin)
2022-08-01 Iran’s Revolutionary Guards To Expand Drug Treatment Center (Michael Rubin)
2022-08-01 Iran Believes Turkey’s Rapprochement With Israel and Saudi Arabia Is a Threat (Ihsan Gunduz)

2022-07-01 Iran Unveils New Drone-Fired Cruise Missile (Michael Rubin)
2022-07-01 Iran Opens New Drone Plant in Tajikistan (Michael Rubin)
2022-07-01 Iran Warns UAE Against Allowing Israel in the Persian Gulf (Michael Rubin)

2022-06-01 Khamenei Speaks on Necessity of Palestinian “Resistance” (Michael Rubin)
2022-06-01 Iran Initiates and Defends New Bread Subsidies Amid Deteriorating Economy (Michael Rubin)
2022-06-01 Iran Seeks To Counter Misinformation Circulating on Social Media (Michael Rubin)

2022-05-01 Iran Digs into Central Syria, Filling Vacuum Left by Russia (Lucas Winter)
2022-05-01 Iran Tries To Justify Abstention in UN Vote Condemning Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Michael Rubin)
2022-05-01 Iranian Navy Joins Indian Naval Exercises (Michael Rubin)
2022-05-01 Iran’s New Damavand Destroyer Set To Join Navy (Michael Rubin)

2022-04-01 Iran: Emphasizing Religiosity in Regular Army Promotions (Michael Rubin)
2022-04-01 Iran Uses Online War Games To Teach Younger Generation of Officers (Michael Rubin)
2022-04-01 Iran’s Supreme Leader Condemns Alleged Corruption of the West (Michael Rubin)
2022-04-01 Iran Repositions Its Proxies in Syria as Russia Turns Focus to Ukraine (Lucas Winter)

2022-03-01 Iranian Authorities Arrest Alleged Deputy Leader of Royalist Terrorist Group (Michael Rubin)
2022-03-01 Iran’s Prosecution of Arab Separatist Highlights Supposed Saudi Ties (Michael Rubin)
2022-03-01 Russia and China To Help Iran Build New Airports (Michael Rubin)

2022-02-01 Iran and Syria Discuss Transportation Cooperation (Michael Rubin)
2022-02-01 Iran’s Purported Counter-Hijacking Record (Michael Rubin)
2022-02-01 Iran Busts Weapons and Ammunition Smuggling Ring (Michael Rubin)

2022-01-01 Iran-Pakistan Bolstering Naval Cooperation (Michael Rubin)
2022-01-01 Iran Agrees To Gas Swap with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan (Michael Rubin)
2022-01-01 Iran and Syria Seek To Jumpstart Economic Ties (Michael Rubin)

2021-04-01 IRAN Unveils New Baman Radar System (Michael Rubin)
2020-10-01 Iran Stockpiling Supplies through Chahbahar (Michael Rubin)

2020-09-01 More Iran in Venezuela (Geoff Demarest)
2020-09-01 Iran Increases Range of Smart Bombs (Michael Rubin)
2020-09-01 Iran: Passive Defense Organization and Basij Sign Memorandum of Understanding (Michael Rubin)
2020-09-01 Iran: Khamenei Speaks on Sanctions, Enmity toward America, and Nuclear Power (Michael Rubin)

2020-08-01 Iran: Khamenei Speaks on Corruption (Michael Rubin)
2020-08-01 Iran: What’s Behind the Government’s Secrecy on Handing Over Kish Island to Chinese? (Michael Rubin)
2020-08-01 Iran Eager to Enter the Global Market as a Military Equipment Exporter (Jerrilee Plude)
2020-08-01 China and Iran Announce $400 Billion Trade Deal (Peter Wood)

2020-07-01 Russian Arms Sales to Iran? (Ray Finch)
2020-07-01 An Afghan Perspective: A New Phase in Afghanistan-Iran Relations (Michael Rubin)
2020-07-01 More Iran in Venezuela (Geoff Demarest)
2020-07-01 The Three Main Missions of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Michael Rubin)

2020-06-01 Iran: Prosecute Cybercriminals (Michael Rubin)
2020-06-01 Iran Improves its UAV Technology (Robert Bunker and Alma Keshvarz)

2020-05-01 Iran: Khamenei on Power and Patience (Michael Rubin)
2020-05-01 Iran Unveils Ghadir Submarine Upgrades (Michael Rubin)
2020-05-01 India Evacuates its Citizens from Iran (Michael Rubin)
2020-05-01 Iran Announces Mass Production of COVID-19 Test Kits (Jerrilee Plude)

2020-04-01 Israel Establishes New ‘Strategy and Iran Directorate’ Under General Staff (Zachary Fesen)
2020-04-01 Iran: Sanctions Don’t Impact Military Spending (Michael Rubin)
2020-04-01 Iran: IRGC Establishes Biological Defense Headquarters (Michael Rubin)

2020-03-01 Counterfeit Bank Notes Seized in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2020-03-01 Iran-Increasing Domestic Production of Rare Earth Elements (Michael Rubin)
2020-02-01 Iran to Send Astronaut into Space? (Michael Rubin)

2020-01-01 Iran: Identity Theft and Extortion in Isfahan (Michael Rubin)
2020-01-01 Iran and Russia to Establish Visa Waivers (Michael Rubin)
2020-01-01 Iran: Use Suicide Drones as Air Defense (Michael Rubin)
2020-01-01 Iran, China, and Russia Plan Joint Naval Drills in Indian Ocean (Zachary Fesen)

2019-12-01 Iran- Khamenei Speaks on America (Michael Rubin)
2019-12-01 Iran Establishes Official VPN Operators (Michael Rubin)

2019-11-01 Iran and Turkey- Friend or Foe (Ihsan Gunduz)
2019-11-01 Iran Opens Persian Gulf Air Defense Command Center (Michael Rubin)
2019-11-01 Iran- Mobile Rocket Systems and Underground Tunnels (Michael Rubin)
2019-11-01 Iran Announces Dome Defense against Drones (Michael Rubin)

2019-10-01 Iran- Khamenei Speaks on Kashmir (Michael Rubin)
2019-10-01 Iran- Armed Forces Ready to Take Over National Intranet Project (Michael Rubin)
2019-10-01 Israel- Iran’s Military Entrenchment in Iraq Poses Threat (Karen Kaya)

2019-09-01 Iran Warns of Phone and Text Scams (Michael Rubin)
2019-09-01 Iran – Mohajer-6 UAV Strikes Targets in Iraq (Michael Rubin)
2019-09-01 Iran’s Negotiations with Domestic Kurdish Opposition Groups (Ihsan Gunduz)
2019-08-01 Iran: Optoelectronic Military Developments (Michael Rubin)

2019-07-01 Iran: Progress on National Intranet (Michael Rubin)
2019-07-01 Iran: Nationwide Curriculum for Computer Programming (Michael Rubin)
2019-07-01 Iran: Preparing for Zafar III Satellite Launch (Michael Rubin)
2019-07-01 Iran: Admiral Fadavi Selected as Revolutionary Guards Deputy (Michael Rubin)
2019-06-01 The Dynamics of Trilateral Relations between Turkey, Russia, and Iran (Ihsan Gunduz)

2019-05-01 Iran Cements its Presence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2019-05-01 Iran: Khamenei Threatens to Use Precision Missiles (Michael Rubin)
2019-05-01 Iran Conducts its Largest UAV Exercise (Michael Rubin)

2019-04-01 Iran: Hovercraft successfully fires cruise missiles (Michael Rubin)
2019-04-01 Iran Diverting Money from Development to Military (Michael Rubin)
2019-03-01 Iran Builds Up Syrian Proxies on the Western Banks of the Euphrates (Lucas Winter)
2019-02-01 IRGC: Iran Can Extend Ballistic Missile Range (Michael Rubin)

2019-01-01 Iran’s Basij in Cyberspace (Michael Rubin)
2019-01-01 Iran Unveils JDAMs? (Michael Rubin)
2019-01-01 China, Russia and Iran Seek to Revive Syrian Railways (Lucas Winter)

2018-11-01 Iran to Build New Missile System? (Michael Rubin)
2018-11-01 Supreme Leader’s Advisor- United States Common Enemy of Iran and China (Michael Rubin)
2018-09-01 Will Iran Pivot to the East (Michael Rubin)
2018-09-01 Iran: IAEA Shouldn’t Inspect Universities (Michael Rubin)
2018-09-01 Russia and Iran Hamper Turkey’s Aspirations to Become Energy Hub (Ihsan Gunduz)

2018-08-01 Questions on Shortfalls in Electricity Generation in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Achieving Gasoline Self-Sufficiency in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Visit of Chinese Military Delegation to Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Iran to Re-Launch “Helicopter Carrier” (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Iran Preparing to Host Nanotechnology Festival (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Iran to Launch New Satellite by Year’s End (Michael Rubin)

2018-07-01 Group Planning to Hack Bank in Iran Arrested (Michael Rubin)
2018-07-01 Who Took $30 Billion out of Iran? (Michael Rubin)
2018-07-01 Iran to Attend Russian Military Trade Show (Michael Rubin)
2018-07-01 Iran Cracks Down on Internet Café VPNs (Michael Rubin)

2018-06-01 Iran, Russia to Jointly Manufacture Helicopter (Michael Rubin)
2018-06-01 Iran Unveils New Unmanned Helicopter (Michael Rubin)
2018-06-01 Russia and Iran Compete for Syria’s Phosphates (Lucas Winter)
2018-06-01 Is Iran Ready to Send Its Navy to Japan (Michael Rubin)

2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2018-05-01 Will Iran Interfere in Kashmir? (Michael Rubin)
2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2018-05-01 Will Iran Interfere in Kashmir? (Michael Rubin)
2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)

2018-04-01 13 Million Users of Domestic Messaging Apps in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran: Supreme Leader Advisor Lauds Russian Strategic Ties (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran: Muslims Supported by US, UK are Illegitimate (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran: Israel’s Missile Defense Can Be Overwhelmed (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran Unveils New Anti-Armor Missile (Michael Rubin)

2018-03-01 Iran: Warship Sinks after Mishap (Michael Rubin)
2018-03-01 Iran: Winning Hearts and Minds in Deir Ezzor (Lucas Winter)
2018-03-01 Iran Develops UAS with “Smart Bomb” Capability (Alma Keshavarz and Robert Bunker)
2018-03-01 Iran: US Sponsoring Islamic State in Afghanistan (Michael Rubin)
2018-03-01 Iran: Winning Hearts and Minds in Deir Ezzor (Lucas Winter)
2018-03-01 Iran: Telegram Giving Data to US and Israel (MIchael Rubin)

2018-02-01 A Malaysian Perspective on US-Iran Relations (Jacob Zenn)
2018-02-01 Turkish Perspectives on Iran (Karen Kaya)
2018-02-01 Iran: Was America Behind Uprising? (Michael Rubin)
2018-02-01 Iran: Lifting the Ban on Instagram was Illegal (Michael Rubin)

2018-02-01 Iran Approaches the Syria-Jordan Border (Lucas Winter)
2018-02-01 Indonesian Perspectives on the Iran Protests (Jacob Zenn)
2018-02-01 India’s Interest in Stability in Iran (Matthew Stein)
2018-02-01 China Limits Internet Exposure to Iran Protests (Jacob Zenn)
2018-02-01 Saudi-Iran Tensions Seen in Nigerian Crackdown on Shia Group (Jacob Zenn)

2018-01-01 Iran: New Military Budget Proposed (Michael Rubin)
2018-01-01 Iran-Khamenei Speaks on Views toward America (Michael Rubin)
2018-01-01 Iran’s Amphibious Aircraft from Russia (Michael Rubin

North African Wave of Support For Palestinians At Onset Of Israel-Hamas War

Tunisians protest in support of Palestine in 2021. Since the Hamas attack on Israel in October, North African civil societies have shown a wave of support for Palestine.

“President Tebboune [of Algeria] reiterated to the Palestinian President, ‘the unwavering solidarity of Algeria, both people and government, with the brotherly Palestinian people.’”

Civil societies across North Africa have shown staunch solidarity with the Palestinian cause in response to Israeli retaliation for the 7 October attack by Hamas. The first article from the pan-African news aggregator AfricaNews.fr, provides a broad overview of the pro-Palestinian reactions emanating from Morocco, Libya, and Algeria. Namely, it underscores how civil societies have demonstrated in support of Palestine, and in the case of Morocco,[i] and to a lesser extent, Libya,[ii] have used the conflict to call for the cessation of their states’ efforts to normalize relations with Israel. The protests also denounce the role of the United States and France in the conflict. As per the second article, also from AfricaNews.fr, Tunisians gathered to show support for Palestinians, similarly seeking to penalize their own state for its efforts for rapprochement with Israel. The third article from the Algerian government-owned Algeria Press Service emphasizes the unanimity between Algeria’s government and its citizens on the issue. While protestors in Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia sought to punish their leaders for would-be softening stances towards Israel, in Algeria, President Tebboune faced no such backlash. In a call with Mahmoud Abas, the President of the State of Palestine, he underscored, “the unwavering solidarity of Algeria, both people and government, with the brotherly Palestinian people.”


“Manifestations pro-palestiniennes dans plusieurs pays arabes (Pro-Palestinian protests in several Arab countries),” AfricaNews.fr (pan-African news aggregator), 14 October 2023. https://fr.africanews.com/2023/10/14/manifestations-pro-palestiniennes-dans-plusieurs-pays-arabes/

Pro-Palestinian rallies, both organized and spontaneous, in response to the conflict between Israel and Gaza-based militant groups have taken the MENA region by storm. In North Africa, demonstrators gathered in Algeria, Libya, and Morocco to show support in favour of Palestine.

“The entire Algerian people are in solidarity with the Palestinian people and stand by their side. The Palestinian people are in distress and need the support of the Arab and Muslim communities,” shared Khaled Sofiane, pro-Palestinian protester in Algeria.

Despite, Morocco’s normalized ties with Israel in exchange for U.S. recognition of its sovereignty over the long-disputed Western Sahara territory, Prince Moulay Hicham El Alaoui, cousin to the Moroccan monarch, has voiced his support for Palestine on social media.

Thousands of Moroccans also protested to ask the government puts an end to the normalization.

“This is a call to the Moroccan state to stop normalization. An appeal to Morocco, which chairs the Jerusalem Committee, to act urgently, to close the liaison office with Israel. And to withdraw from all agreements. This is what Moroccan people demand today,” expressed Rachid Fellouli, pro-Palestinian protester in Morocco.

In Libya, the 5 El- Emad towers illuminated in the colors of the Palestinian flag in support.

The Libyan government has always publicly sided with Palestine and has not recognized Israel. A couple of months ago, Libya’s head of diplomacy was suspended for meeting with her Israeli counterpart. The news of the encounter had created unrest in the already unstable country.

“Guerre Israël-Hamas: des Tunisiens manifestent pour les Palestiniens (Israel-Hamas War: Tunisians protest for Palestinians),” AfricaNews.fr (pan-African news aggregator), 13 October 2023. https://fr.africanews.com/2023/10/13/guerre-israel-hamas-des-tunisiens-manifestent-pour-les-palestiniens/

Thousands of trade unionists, civil society representatives, political activists, lawyers and high school students demonstrated in the centre of Tunis on Thursday in support of the Palestinian people and called for the criminalisation of any normalisation of relations with Israel.

Denouncing the Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip, the demonstrators, brandishing the Palestinian flag, gathered in front of the headquarters of the trade union centre, the UGTT, before marching to Avenue Habib Bourguiba, the main thoroughfare in the city centre, AFP journalists observed.

“The people want to penalise normalisation” with Israel, chanted the demonstrators, angry at “Zionist crimes” and “international silence on the genocide in Gaza”, the Palestinian enclave.

The demonstrators also denounced the support of France and the United States for Israel, which had become “allies in the attack on the Palestinians”.

“Algeria: President Tebboune Receives Phone Call From President of State of Palestine,” Algeria Press Service (government-owned news service from Algeria), 9 October 2023. https://allafrica.com/stories/202310090525.html

President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has received a phone call from his brother the President of the occupied State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, the presidency of the Republic said on Monday.

Abbas informed the president of the Republic “about the grave abuses committed by the occupying forces against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” the statement said.

President Tebboune reiterated, to the Palestinian President, “the unwavering solidarity of Algeria, both people and government, with the brotherly Palestinian people.”He stressed that “these developments remind everyone that a just and comprehensive peace, as a strategic choice, can only be achieved by establishing an independent, sovereign Palestinian State.”


[i] For more on the Israel-Morocco normalization pact of 2020, see: “Israel, Morocco agree to normalise relations in US-brokered deal,” Al-Jazeera, 10 December 2020. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/10/israel-morocco-agree-to-normalise-relations-in-us-brokered-deal

[ii] While Libya has never formally recognized Israel, protests erupted in Libya in August 2023 when Israel revealed that Libya’s Foreign Minister, Najla Mangoush, had met with Israeli representatives. Mangoush was subsequently suspended and fled the country. For more, see: Sam Magdy, “Libya’s foreign minister suspended, flees country after meeting with Israel’s top diplomat,” Associated Press, 28 August 2023. https://apnews.com/article/libya-israel-meeting-normalization-arab-world-62d6d37df1838ecba9a604e80b675733

Image Information:

Image: Tunisians protest in support of Palestine in 2021. Since the Hamas attack on Israel in October, North African civil societies have shown a wave of support for Palestine.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Protest_for_palestine_Tunis_Kassba_17-05-2021_By_Brahim_Guedich-3582.jpg
Attribution: BY-SA 4.0

Morocco Sending Military Equipment to Ukraine

Modernized T-72B3  with additional armor.

Modernized T-72B3 with additional armor.

Morocco…will deliver spare parts of T-72 tanks to Ukraine. The kingdom is increasingly taking a stand in the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow.”

New reporting has revealed that Morocco has agreed to send T-72 tanks and tank parts to Ukraine, breaking a stalemate of African states reluctant to take sides in the conflict. As the accompanying article in Le Journal de l’Afrique relays, Morocco agreed to send the tanks and spare parts to Ukraine at the request of the United States.[i] Ukraine had previously asked Morocco for spare parts for its T-72 [R1] tanks in July 2015.

Within a broader geopolitical context, Morocco’s move to support Ukraine with such heavy weapons signals a notable departure among African countries, which so far have largely declined to take a stand in the conflict. Western observers have been notably disappointed that African allies have not been more forceful in their condemnation of Russian moves in Ukraine. Such African neutrality has been most clearly evidenced in UN voting resolutions in March and August, with many African states abstaining from condemning Russian actions, and in other cases, voting against resolutions condemning Russia.[ii] For its part, Morocco abstained from the UN vote condemning Russian aggression in March. However, it remains wary of Russia’s assistance to its neighbor and rival, Algeria, with which it cut diplomatic ties in August 2021.[iii] In contrast, Morocco’s move signals the clearest sign of any African country supporting either side and will likely inform if and how other African countries might decide to take sides in the conflict.


Frédéric Ange Touré, “L’armement de l’Ukraine par les Américains passe par le Maroc (The arming of Urkaine by the Americans goes through Morocco,” Le Journal de l’Afrique (independent pan-African news outlet), 6 December 2022. https://lejournaldelafrique.com/larmement-de-lukraine-par-les-americains-passe-par-le-maroc/

Morocco, on the recommendation of the United States, will deliver spare parts of T-72 tanks to Ukraine. The kingdom is increasingly taking a stand in the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow.

Last April, the United States was looking for T-72 tanks to deliver to Ukrainian forces in the war between Kyiv and Moscow. These tanks have become a rare commodity in the West… The New York Times indicated, on April 1, that Washington was negotiating with its NATO allies to supply T-72s to Ukraine after the request made by President Volodymyr Zelinski, who sought in particular to solidify his defense in the Donbass. A few days later, we learned that Poland was in the process of delivering 200 T-72 tanks to Kyiv…

The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces have several dozen T-72B/BK type tanks, acquired between 1999 and 2001 from Belarus. In July 2015, the Ukrainian public company Ukroboronservice asked Morocco for spare parts for its T-72 tanks. Kyiv is therefore used to working with Rabat on this subject…

After a statement to recall that Morocco advocates “respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and national unity of all United Nations member states”, the kingdom took part in a meeting with 40 allies of the United States, all NATO members and several invited countries, in Germany to discuss increasing military aid to Zelensky’s government.

An alignment with the American position, therefore, the culmination of which is this agreement on the delivery of spare parts for T-72 tanks to Ukraine.


[i] Between 1999 and 2001, the Royal Moroccan Army acquired dozens of T-72/BK type tanks from Belarus. Developed in 1972, these Soviet-era tanks have been sold and used throughout the world, especially by former Warsaw Pact countries.

[ii] For more on African stances of the Russia-Ukraine war, see: Jason Warner, “African Stances on the Russia-Ukraine War Demonstrate Reliance on, Antipathy Toward West,” OE Watch 9, 2022.  https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-articles-2-singular-format/425767 See also: “GCKN Running Estimate: Russian Global Influence Efforts,” December 2022, Update 9. https://community.apan.org/wg/gckn/m/russiaproduct/429266

[iii] For more on Algerian-Morocco relations, see: Lucas Winter, “Algeria Media Dismissive of Morocco-Israel Security Cooperation, OE Watch #9, 2022. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-articles-2-singular-format/425770

Image Information:

Image: Modernized T-72B3[R1]  with additional armor  
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alabino05042017-40.jpg
Attribution: Creative Commons 4.0

Morocco and Algeria Strengthen UAV Capabilities With Imports From China, Turkey, and Israel

TAI Aksungur at Teknofest 2019.

TAI Aksungur at Teknofest 2019.

“Morocco issued a warning to Iran, which is accused of militarily supporting separatist and terrorist groups

Over the past year, both Algeria and Morocco have bolstered their unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities by importing technology from China, Turkey and—in the case of Morocco—Israel.[i] As detailed in the first excerpted article, in October 2022, the Spanish news website OkDiario reported on a video showing a Chinese Wing Loong II UAV flying over Morocco, seemingly confirming that Morocco had acquired several of these platforms after expressing interest in them earlier this year. Also in October, as detailed in the second excerpted article, the independent Algeria-focused military news website Menadefense reported that Algeria, which has a Wing Loong II fleet of its own, had become the first export client for the Turkish TAI Aksungur long-range UAV, after signing a deal to acquire six units.

While China and Turkey appear willing to sell technology and deepen security cooperation with both Morocco and Algeria, Israeli-Moroccan cooperation has likely geopolitical implications given fears of Iranian and Russian meddling in the region.[ii] As shown in the third excerpted article, in September the Moroccan English-language news website Morocco World News reported that Morocco had acquired at least 150 small vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft from the Israeli firm BlueBird Aero Systems. The deal includes both the small WanderB model and a larger ThunderB model, as well as an agreement to build two UAV manufacturing plants in Morocco, the first of their kind. In the fourth excerpted article, in early October, as reported by the Moroccan news website Le360, an official from the Polisario Front, the Western Sahara independence movement that is supported by Algeria and opposed by Morocco, claimed that Sahrawi fighters would soon begin employing armed UAVs against Moroccan forces. These remarks prompted Morocco’s Foreign Minister to equate Polisario with Yemen’s Houthi Movement, accusing Iran of arming Polisario with Algerian complicity. Indeed, Moroccan accusations of Iranian support for Polisario are not new, as explained in the fifth article from the Qatari-aligned al-Araby al-Jadeed. While the accusations may have seemed fanciful four years ago, they seem less so now, given Israel’s quickly growing security footprint in Morocco and the fact that Algeria’s key security partner—Russia—is itself relying on Iranian military support in Ukraine.


Pelayo Barro. “Marruecos compra los drones militares chinos más modernos mientras España le regala 4×4 (Morocco buys the most advanced Chinese drones while Spain gifts it 4x4s),” OkDiario (Spanish news website), 2 October 2022. https://okdiario.com/espana/marruecos-compra-drones-militares-chinos-mas-modernos-mientras-espana-regala-4×4-9739842

The latest [Moroccan] acquisition has not been ignored by Spain’s military intelligence: new-generation strategic Chinese drones with air-ground attack capabilities and endurance of over 7,000 kilometers… Mohammed VI’s armed forces had previously eyed these drones – called Wing Loong II – and had even proposed acquiring them to replace a previous Chinese drone they had already employed in their war against the Polisario Front.

“L’Algérie achète des drones d’attaque Aksungur (Algeria purchases Aksungur attack drones),” Menadefense (independent Algeria-focused military news website), 7 October 2022. https://www.menadefense.net/algerie/lalgerie-achete-des-drones-dattaque-aksungur/

The Algerian Air Force has ordered six Turkish MALE drones from TAI. They are the Aksungur, a larger, more modern, and better performing version than its Anka-S counterpart.

Aya Benazizi. “Morocco Purchases 150 Israeli Military Drones,” Morocco World News (Moroccan English-language news website), 22 September 2022. https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2022/09/351475/morocco-purchases-150-israeli-military-drones

Morocco has purchased 150 military drones of the WanderB and ThunderB types, manufactured by Israel’s BlueBird Aero Systems, a company specialized in designing and developing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) equipment…

The agreement concerned the construction of industrial units in Morocco for the manufacture of Israeli drones.

البوليساريو تعلن أن الجزائر ستمدها بطائرات “درون” إيرانية لمهاجمة المغرب

Mohammed Ould Boah. “Polisario announces that Algiera will provide it with Iranian drones to attack Morocco,” Le360 (Moroccan news website), 4 October 2022. https://ar.le360.ma/politique/197102

According to the so-called “interior minister” of the Polisario, the separatists have obtained military drones, which they will use in their attacks against Moroccan territory. In the face of this dangerous escalation, Morocco issued a warning to Iran, which is accused of militarily supporting separatist and terrorist groups.

إيران والمغرب: تشيّع وصواريخ ودرونز

Abdelhamid Ajmahiri. “Iran and Morocco: Shiization, missiles and drones,” al-Araby al-Jadeed (Qatari-aligned daily), 11 October 2022. https://tinyurl.com/2p83v8hm Almost four years after accusing Tehran of handing the separatist Polisario Front advanced weapons – especially Strela surface-to-air missiles – last week Rabat accused Tehran of providing Polisario with drones… It is clear that relations between Rabat and Tehran have entered a bleak zone, now that the [Western Sahara] conflict has been resolved in favor of Moroccan national unity.


[i] See: Lucas Winter, “Morocco and Algeria Bolstering Their Drone Fleets as Bilateral Tensions Rise,” OE Watch, Issue 11, 2021; Lucas Winter, “Morocco Denys Conducting Drone Strike Against Algerian Targets in Western Sahara,” OE Watch, Issue 12, 2021; Lucas Winter, “China Arming Algeria To Fight Its ‘New Generation Wars’,” OE Watch, Issue 8, 2022. 

[ii] See: Lucas Winter, “Algeria Sees Threat from Morocco as Western Sahara Conflict Threatens To Reignite,” OE Watch, Issue 6, 2022; Lucas Winter, “Algeria Likely To Deepen Military Ties with Russia as Morocco–Israel Security Cooperation Expands,” OE Watch, Issue 9, 2022.

Image Information:

Image: TAI Aksungur at Teknofest 2019
Source: CeeGee (own work), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TAI_Aksungur_Teknofest2019_(1).jpg
Attribution: CC 4.0

Algerian Media Dismissive of Morocco-Israel Security Cooperation

IAI Harop UAV at Paris Air Show 2013.

IAI Harop UAV at Paris Air Show 2013.

“China controls 80 to 90 percent of global capacity. This is an extremely dominant position for a country at a time when everyone is trying to expand.”

Security cooperation between Morocco and Israel has expanded rapidly since the two countries formalized relations as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords.  As reported in the Saudi daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, the two militaries will institutionalize regular joint training and education programs.  In addition, Morocco has agreed to purchase Israeli weapons systems, including the BARAK MX Integrated Air & Missile Defense System, Heron unmanned aerial vehicles, and Harop loitering munitions[RG1] .  Seeking to bolster its domestic defense industry with Israeli know-how, Morocco is set to eventually manufacture Harop munitions domestically. 

Against this backdrop, Algerian media outlets have been dismissive of the extent to which deepening Israeli-Moroccan security links will shift the balance of military power in North Africa.  A recent opinion article in the Algerian daily El Chorouk interprets Moroccan outreach to Israel as a sign of desperation and insecurity within Morocco’s ruling elite, due to both regional strategic challenges and uncertainty over royal succession.  In this view, Israel is the only party willing to “rescue Morocco from Algeria’s military power,” something that in the author’s view it will not accomplish.  Algerian pundits may be dismissive of Morocco’s growing power, but Algerian military leaders are undoubtedly paying attention to the challenge of the Israel-Morocco security partnership. 


“كيف يستفيد المغرب من التجربة الإسرائيلية؟ 

(How does Morocco benefit from the Israeli experience?),” al-Sharq al-Awsat (influential Saudi daily), 22 July 2022. https://tinyurl.com/n5ntt67x

Kochavi’s visit to Morocco resulted in a series of technical and strategic agreements between the two armies and the two governments. At the core of them is cooperation in various security fields, as well as an active and persistent exchange of experiences, including study exchanges and joint training of combat units throughout the year… Morocco also agreed to buy a set of [Harop kamikaze drones] and to start manufacturing them domestically…


“الصهاينة لنجدة المخزن ضدّ قوة الجزائر العسكرية

(Zionism to rescue the Makhzen from Algeria’s military force),” El Chorouk (Algerian daily), 9 August 2022. https://tinyurl.com/4k6ew5zb

As for its dispute with Algeria, it led Morocco to an accelerating arms race in which it was difficult to keep pace with its eastern neighbor, leaving it far behind due to the strength of the latter’s resources, in contrast to the scarcity of Moroccan resources… [Morocco] has found no refuge except in the Zionist entity, which cannot provide what Rabat is looking for.

Image Information:

Image: IAI Harop UAV at Paris Air Show 2013
Source: Julian Herzog, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IAI_Harop_PAS_2013_02.jpg
Attribution: CC 4.0

Algeria Sees Threat from Morocco as Western Sahara Conflict Threatens To Reignite

Morocco from space.

Morocco from space.

“…Algeria strongly condemns the targeted assassinations by the Kingdom of Morocco using advanced military weapons outside of its internationally recognized borders…”

The long-frozen dispute over the Western Sahara, in which Morocco claims sovereignty over the territory and Algeria supports the Polisario Front’s independence aspirations, continues to thaw amid sporadic military activity.  The latest incident occurred in early April, when a Moroccan UAV purportedly struck a convoy near the border between Mauritania and the Western Sahara. There are conflicting reports of what happened.  The Algerian government, through its foreign affairs ministry, called it “a targeted assassination” carried out by Morocco outside of its internationally recognized borders.  The Qatari-aligned daily al-Araby al-Jadid cites a source that claimed a Moroccan drone had fired eight missiles at two Algerian trucks that had delivered their commercial cargo in Mauritania and were returning to the Algerian city of Tindouf.  The Moroccan government did not comment on the matter, but according to the Facebook page of the quasi-official Moroccan military chat forum FAR Maroc, Moroccan authorities had conveyed to the UN that 10 trucks transporting weapons and ammunition were struck within territory that the Polisario Front controls.  It added that Polisario had prevented UN forces from accessing the site for 72 hours, during which the group altered the scene to make it appear as if the missiles struck a civilian convoy. The Algerian military’s main articulated concern vis-à-vis Morocco are not UAVs, but rather the broader threat of “new generation warfare.”  In a speech immediately following the incident described above, Saïd Chengriha, Chief of Staff of the Algerian military, emphasized the importance of maintaining national cohesion amid external attempts to sow discord through misinformation and influence campaigns.  Chengriha has stated on more than one occasion that the key battle for Algeria’s youth is a battle of conscience, “in which new and unconventional weapons are used, and which uses virtual space as its theater of operations, in an attempt to manipulate opinions, especially young people.” 


Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter account, @Algeria_MFA, 12 April 2022. https://twitter.com/Algeria_MFA/status/1513918713086492676

Algeria strongly condemns the targeted assassinations by the Kingdom of Morocco using advanced military weapons outside of its internationally recognized borders against innocent civilians from three countries of the region.


“قصف جديد لشاحنات جزائرية في الصحراء قرب الحدود الموريتانية

(New attack on Algerian trucks in the Sahara near the Mauritanian border),” al-Araby al-Jadid (Qatari-aligned daily), 10 April 2022. https://tinyurl.com/ydf7uemn

Local sources told al-Araby al-Jadid that Moroccan drones fired eight missiles at two Algerian trucks, which caused their destruction and the injury of more than two people. They added that the two trucks had unloaded their cargo in Mauritania and were on their way back to the city of Tindouf, in southern Algeria.

Source: FAR Maroc (quasi-official Moroccan military news forum), Facebook page (Arabic), 21 April 2022. https://www.facebook.com/1529080437316937/posts/3255921981299432

Regarding the Bir Lahlu operation on April 10, the [UN] mission confirmed that Morocco had informed that it targeted, in a specific operation, about 10 trucks and vehicles loaded with ammunition and weapons targeting the security of Morocco. However, the Polisario prevented members of the mission from inspecting the site for 72 hours, after which they found only two trucks and a vehicle. It also monitored the presence of another operation near the location of the two trucks, confirming that Polisario had manipulated the scene to prove its allegation that Morocco had targeted civilians.

Source: “Les nouveaux défis exigent la consolidation du front interne,” Algeria Press Service (Algerian oficial news agency), 8 May 2022. https://www.aps.dz/algerie/139409-les-nouveaux-defis-exigent-la-consolidation-du-front-interne-et-une-confiance-totale-dans-les-institutions-de-l-etat

According to El Djeich, “the various challenges which Algeria is currently facing, and which it will have to take up in the future, have led the High Command of the People’s National Army (ANP)… to carry out a vast program of modernization and capacity-renewal of the ANP battle corps and its implementation on the ground, in order to achieve a high level of competence at all levels and therefore operational availability”

… “The real battle that our young people must win today is essentially a battle of conscience, Lieutenant General Saïd Chengriha has said on numerous occasions,” per the Editorial. “It is a battle in which new and unconventional weapons are used, and which uses virtual space as its theater of operations, in an attempt to manipulate opinions, especially young people…”

Image Information:

Image:  Morocco from space
Source: NASA, https://www.dvidshub.net/image/751371/morocco-image-day]  
Attribution: Public Domain

Algeria Caught Between Neutrality and Strategic Relations with Russia

“… the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war are strongly present in these diplomatic moves, by virtue of Algeria’s strong strategic relationship with Russia and its stable relations with Western countries…”

Algeria has sought to remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but historical strategic relations with Russia and growing security concerns on its borders may draw it closer to Russia.  As noted in the excerpts from the Saudi-funded Independent Arabia and the influential Saudi daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, these relations were on display during a late March visit to Algiers by a high-level Russian military delegation, during which the two sides agreed to hold joint anti-terror military exercises in southern Algeria in November.  Algeria is a key buyer of advanced Russian weaponry and an attractive strategic partner for Russia in the current geopolitical climate due to its location on NATO’s underbelly and its abundant natural gas resources.  Russia can help Algeria with two of its vital concerns: securing its southern border, particularly with Mali, and militarily balancing Morocco.  Relations with Morocco have soured over the past year, and Morocco’s blossoming military partnership with Israel threatens to tilt the balance in its favor.  Although the Algerian military has recently turned to China for some advanced weaponry, Russia remains its main security partner and possibly the only country willing to help Algeria maintain a favorable military balance with Morocco.

On 4 April, the speaker of the People’s National Assembly, Algeria’s lower house of parliament, hosted the Russian ambassador and reaffirmed Algeria’s commitment to its deep strategic relationship with Russia, in comments that were reported by the country’s official news agency Algeria Press Service.  However, Algerian in-depth cooperation with Russia does not equate to enthusiastic support for Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.  Like other countries of the region, Algeria hopes to stay out of a Russia-NATO conflict.  Algeria has been explicit in endorsing a negotiated settlement to the conflict, and its foreign minister has been active in an “Arab Contact Group” that seeks to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.  Still, Algeria’s relations with Russia run deeper than those of many other Arab countries, particularly when it comes to defense cooperation.  Algeria joined Syria in the vote against expelling Russia from the UN Human Rights Commission, making them the only two Arab countries to do so.  Most other Arab countries either abstained or refused to vote.  Mali’s government, which is increasingly close to Russia and a strategically important partner of Algeria’s, also voted against the resolution. 


“روسيا تسبق بلينكن إلى ‘حلبة الجزائر’

(Russia beats Blinken to ‘the Algerian Arena’),” Independent Arabia (Saudi-funded news website), 27 March 2022. https://tinyurl.com/mr2czhan

The Algerian Ministry of Defense announced that the Chief of Staff of the Army, Said Chengriha and other high-ranking officers met with members of a Russian delegation at the conclusion of their visit to Algeria. The Russian delegation was led by the Director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation of Russia, Dmitry Shuvaev, and also included the Russian ambassador to Algeria. The meeting came at the end of the Russian delegation’s visit, from March 23 to 25, to attend the regular meeting of the Algerian-Russian Intergovernmental Committee in charge of military and technical cooperation…

Said Hadef, a researcher in Maghreb affairs, told The Independent… “It is difficult to predict what Russia was expecting from its allies, but it seems that the visit of the director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation came under the weight of one month of war for Russia, and the consequent sanctions and Moscow’s fear of losing its allies.” He noted that the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war are strongly present in these diplomatic moves, by virtue of Algeria’s strong strategic relationship with Russia and its stable relations with Western countries.  This is making it move cautiously, as it seeks to preserve its positions and its allies, and at the same time avoids “angering” the West, led by Washington.


“مناورات عسكرية جزائرية ـ روسية تحاكي محاربة الإرهاب 

(Algeria-Russia anti-terror military maneuvers),” al-Sharq al-Awsat (influential Saudi daily), 6 April 2022. https://tinyurl.com/3k8r9fuc

Yesterday, the Russian TASS news agency quoted the Russian Southern Military District as saying that joint anti-terror exercises of the Russian and Algerian ground forces will take place next November in Algeria. The upcoming maneuvers were discussed, according to the press office of the Southern Military District in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz, during the “first planning conference to prepare for joint Russian-Algerian ground forces anti-terror maneuvers.” The same source also announced that the military exercises will take place at a base located in the Adrar Governorate, in the far south of Algeria. According to the Russian Agency, during the conference, “the exercise’s scenario and the organization of logistics, including accommodation procedures, were coordinated.” It added that the maneuvers “will consist of tactical moves to search, detect and destroy illegal armed groups. On the Russian side, about 80 soldiers from the Southern Military District are scheduled to participate in the exercises.”


“رئيس المجلس الشعبي الوطني يستقبل السفير الروسي لدى الجزائر

(People’s National Assembly Speaker welcomes the Russian ambassador to Algeria),” Algeria Press Service (official Algerian news service), 4 April 2022. https://www.aps.dz/ar/algerie/124089-2022-04-04-14-29-34

On Monday, the Speaker of the People’s National Assembly, Mr. Ibrahim Bougali, received the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Algeria, Mr. Igor Belyaev, in a meeting centered on the “outstanding bilateral relations” that unite the two countries, according to a statement from the parliament.… In addition, Mr. Bougali affirmed “Algeria’s commitment to its in-depth strategic partnership with Russia” and called for “exploiting all available possibilities to diversify the areas of cooperation.”