How Our Seizure of Iranian Weapons Proves the Importance of NATO

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Photo: Flickr/U.S. National Archives
Media Outlet: Esquire

Robert Bateman wrote for Esquire about the seizure of Iranian weapons: 

The nuclear deal took a long time. Two historically antagonistic nations sat across the table from one another, trying for months to hammer out an agreement. Meanwhile, one was actively supplying weapons to rebels who used them to kill the soldiers of the other on the ground in a third country. 
You might think that we're talking about Iran, the United States, and Yemen. After all, last week the U.S. Navy seized yet another illegal shipment of weapons—dozens of machine guns and rocket launchers—from an Iranian boat headed to the Houthi rebels fighting the government of Yemen, our nominal ally. That sort of action on the part of Iran is an ancillary betrayal of the nuclear negotiations we completed last year.
Except I'm not talking about the U.S. and Iran; I'm talking about the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The nuclear talks? The ones that Ronald Reagan initiated in 1982 and that lasted nearly a decade. The third country? Afghanistan, to which we supplied massive amounts of advanced weaponry—including air defense in the form of Stinger missiles—to kill Russians. 
The irony, she stings.


Robert Bateman is a fellow with the New America's International Security program. He is a writer for and is under contract for a new book with Knopf (projected 2018) addressing doctrine, technology, and the culture of the officer corps.