In mid-2009, Iran provided Syria with an advanced radar system that will help detect potential Israeli air raids. This display of international solidarity has been hypocritically portrayed as an act of aggression in the mainstream Western media.
Radar is not an offensive piece of military equipment. The system allegedly sent to Syria by Iran is inherently defensive, capable only of identifying objects violating Syrian airspace. One of the likely intentions behind this move is to discourage Israel from flying over Syria to bomb Iran, something that been increasingly considered in Israeli ruling circles over the last few years.
Iran and Syria know from experience that they must always be prepared to face Israeli and U.S. military aggression. Iran is constantly threatened by both countries, and a small part of Syria is actually under Israeli occupation.
During the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel occupied a region of Syria called the Golan Heights, an area of approximately 500 square miles. Israel militarily displaced some 100,000 Syrians. Syrian forces unsuccessfully attempted to recapture the area in 1973, and Golan was officially annexed by Israel in 1981, a move that sparked strong international condemnation. Control of the Golan Heights is used to this day as a bargaining chip by the Israeli colonial-settler regime.
Currently, among the favorite pretexts for imperialist intervention in the Middle East are the utterly false notions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and is aiding extremist groups. The transfer of radar technology to Syria is being framed as an effort to extend support to Hezbollah, a legitimate resistance organization wrongly labeled “terrorist.”
This highlights several double standards.
While Iran is demonized for its alleged development of weapons-grade uranium, Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal and its primary backer, the United States, is in possession of at least 5,100 nuclear weapons.
Although the corporate media made no mention when, in 2007, the United States promised $30 billion of aid to Israel over the next 10 years, the most benign assistance from one nationalist government to another is sharply condemned.
The Wall Street Journal’s June 30 right-wing article titled “Iran Arms Syria with Radar,” characterized the defense system as a threat to Israel’s ability to attack with surprise and a danger to U.S. policy in the region.
While Israel maintains a genocidal blockade of Gaza and threatens neighboring countries, the imperialists and the loyal corporate media are attempting to divert attention by publicizing the installation of purely defensive equipment. Iran and Syria’s commitment to resisting Zionist colonialism and U.S. imperialism is an inspiring example of defiance that should be emulated the world over.