During a recent visit to Israel, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana expressed concerns about Iran’s ties to Russia and its collaboration with North Korea. The intelligence exchange between Israel and NATO regarding the Iranian threat has been enhanced. Last year, NATO, for the first time, asked Israel to provide a comprehensive assessment of the Iranian threat to Europe.
“This marks a significant change after years of turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the evolving threat,” stated an Israeli defense source following NATO’s shift in approach. The source added that Israel has shared some intelligence with NATO and is prepared to provide more if requested.
Israeli sources indicate that Iran is accelerating the development of its long-range ballistic missiles to target Europe while pursuing nuclear capabilities. In early 2022, Iran claimed a successful static solid-fuel engine test, although no rocket actually left Earth.
North Korea has closely cooperated with Iran on ballistic missile development since the 1980s. Despite UN sanctions imposed on North Korea, its missile collaboration with Iran continued. Flights between North Korea and Iran, transferring missile-related equipment, were revealed in a May 2011 UN report. These flights were chartered by civilian airlines like North Korea’s Air Koryo and Iran Air, often passing through China’s airspace.
Middle Eastern sources have reported that Iran is still receiving missile technology from North Korea.