Ilya TsukanovAll materialsWrite to the authorThe olive branch extended to Iran by the Biden administration in 2021 as Washington sought to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action turned into a worthless fig leaf this year after the nations failed to find a compromise, with the US joining Israeli drills simulating attacks on the Islamic Republic’s peaceful nuclear energy program.A pair of Israeli Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets escorted US Air Force Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers on Thursday as they passed through Israel on route out of the Persian Gulf.“The flight took place as part of the increasing cooperation with the US military, which is a significant component of the national security of the State of Israel, maintaining regional stability and thwarting regional threats,” the Israeli military said in a statement.“This is the Israeli Air Force. Welcome to Israel. We hope you have a safe flight,” an Israeli pilot says in video posted to Twitter by the IDF.
The IDF indicated that Thursday’s flight constituted the first use of F-35I ‘Adir’ jets – Israel’s customized F-35s, to escort American bombers, and that it was part of “a series of exercises and training which improve the operational capabilities of the IDF and strengthen its readiness for all scenarios.”
WorldTehran: West Stirs Up Anti-Iranian Mood by Announcing Iran’s Attack on Saudi Arabia2 November, 16:36 GMTIsrael’s F-35s feature custom electronic warfare, sensor and countermeasures kits, and compatibility with Israeli-made weaponry. Israel has ordered 50 of the fifth-gen jets from Lockheed, and has received 33 to date.Thursday’s flight was the second time since September that the IDF scrambled fighter jets to escort American B-52s flying through the country, with the last such deployment carried out by three IAF F-16is.The US Air Force has a decades-old habit of shuttling its B-52 bombers – capable of launching a wide range of conventional and nuclear weapons, across the planet, often deploying the aircraft in the Persian Gulf amid tensions with regional adversaries like Iran.The thaw in Iran-US relations that was attempted after Joe Biden’s election in 2020 reversed course this year after Tehran and Washington failed to agree on the conditions under which the US could rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – a landmark agreement signed in 2015 which set limits on Iran’s nuclear energy program in exchange for sanctions relief.In May, US forces joined Israeli air power in drills simulating an attack on Iran’s nuclear energy infrastructure. Israel has long criticized the JCPOA and has stressed repeatedly that it would not be bound by its terms.President Biden warned in July that Washington would be ready to “kill” the JCPOA to keep Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on America’s “terrorism” list after Tehran demanded that the IRGC be removed from the listing as a condition for reviving the agreement.Commanders from the elite military formation, designated as a “terrorist” entity in 2019 by the Trump administration, proved instrumental in combating Daesh (ISIS)* and al-Qaeda* terrorists in Iraq and Syria after the militants captured wide swathes of territory in the two countries between 2013 and 2017. Iran labeled the entire US military terrorists after Trump ok’ed the assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani in early 2020 without cause.Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been aggravated in recent week after the Islamic Republic accused the US and the “Zionist regime” of fomenting unrest in the country.
WorldUnrest in Iran Caused by US in Order to Disrupt JCPOA Talks, Army Commander Says7 November, 14:32 GMT* Terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries.