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Musk weighs in on Israel’s strike on Iran

US tax dollars were used to help West Jerusalem target Tehran’s American-made F-14 fighter jets, the SpaceX CEO says

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took aim at Israel’s strikes on an Iranian airbase, suggesting that West Jerusalem used US money to attack American-made jets, which had been sold to the Shah during the Cold War era.

On Friday, several media outlets reported that Israel had struck targets across Iran. The airstrike came nearly a week after Iran launched a series of its own attacks on Israel using hundreds of drones and missiles in response to what Tehran says was a deadly Israeli raid on its consulate in Damascus, Syria.

According to Iranian authorities, one of Israel’s strikes on Friday targeted Isfahan airbase, home to an Iranian fleet of US-made F-14 Tomcats. The fighter jets, which were discontinued in the US in 2006, had been purchased by Iran’s Western-leaning government before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The exact scale of the damage to the airbase is unclear, with Iranian media claiming that several Israeli drones had been destroyed during the attack on the installation.

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FILE PHOTO: Iranian missiles on exhibit at a park in Tehran, Iran.
Israel targeted Iranian airbase – NYT

Tehran lost several F-14s during the grueling 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq war but the rest reportedly survived, although the 1970s-era warplanes have faced maintenance difficulties due to a lack of spare parts.

Commenting on the strike on Friday, Musk pointed to the irony of the situation, writing “our tax dollars somehow also blowing up our tax dollars.” In a separate post on X (formerly Twitter), he seemed to express his dismay about the current standoff in the Middle East, saying “we should send rockets not at each other, but rather to the stars.”

Israel, a key American ally in the Middle East, has been one of the leading recipients of military aid from Washington. In 2016, it signed a memorandum of understanding with the US, under which West Jerusalem would receive $38 billion in assistance over the following 10 years. The US also helped the Jewish state develop its famed Iron Dome air defense system, and the country is a member of the F-35 fighter program.

The US Congress has been deliberating over a foreign aid package bill which would provide aid to Israel for months. While the bulk of it ($61 billion) is earmarked for Ukraine, it also includes $26 billion in support for Israel and the provision of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, which has suffered unprecedented devastation during West Jerusalem’s conflict with HAMAS.

April 19, 2024 at 08:49PM

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