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Home Opinion Opinion| Does Israel seek to involve America in its conflict with Iran?

Opinion| Does Israel seek to involve America in its conflict with Iran?

by Tunae

The recent conflict between Iran and Israel has concluded after a series of mutual strikes. The situation was somewhat contained due to the regional balance of power and America’s hesitance to enter a potentially complex war. It appears that both Tel Aviv and Tehran are satisfied with the results of this strategic confrontation, which may pave the way for ongoing covert operations and clandestine conflicts. The specifics of the strikes remain undisclosed, with both sides treating the incident as resolved.

From the outset, the narrative is riddled with inconsistencies. Iran’s retaliation to the assault on its consulate in Damascus was anticipated to shift the Middle East’s power dynamics. Yet, the counter-strike was largely unsuccessful, leaving Iran to rationalise its actions. Described by Iran as intricate and multifaceted, the attack was largely thwarted by Israel and its allies, who neutralized the majority of the drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles deployed.

Significantly, Israel achieved its objectives from the purported attack, which essentially coerced Tehran into launching due to internal pressures and repeated assaults on its figures in Syria and Lebanon.

The benefits for Tel Aviv from Iran’s brief four-hour offensive were substantial, from the initial drone and missile launches to the few that reached Israeli territory, resulting in minor injuries and superficial damage. This event restored the American and international backing Israel had lost following intensified military activities in Gaza. It also revitalized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political standing, both within the Knesset against the leftist opposition and among the public. Moreover, the strike presented Netanyahu with an opportunity to target Iran, fulfilling a longstanding ambition of Israeli leadership since its regional armament efforts under Qassem Soleimani, assassinated by the US four years prior. Israel aimed to deliver a decisive blow to Iran but was met with firm US opposition, wary of destabilizing a critical region during an election year.

Israel’s approach to retaliation is not tit-for-tat but rather a calculated response. Tehran quickly communicated to European entities the limited nature of its strikes, emphasizing their legitimacy and lack of intent to escalate the conflict, almost as an apology. Even before its drones approached Tel Aviv, Tehran declared to the United Nations the cessation of its offensive, seeking acknowledgement of its restraint. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated that the US was informed of Iran’s “limited” self-defensive action and that neighbouring countries were notified 72 hours in advance. However, at this juncture, Israel’s rhetoric became disjointed.

US President Joe Biden indeed informed Netanyahu that Washington will not participate in any strike on Iran, especially since it is an election year, and he does not wish to involve his country in a useless conflict except to create a vacuum that unwanted parties may fill. To further confirm Israel’s victory, White House spokesman John Kirby said in statements to NBC that repelling the Iranian attack in which drones were used is an “amazing military achievement” for Israel and its partners, and showed how Israel is not isolated from the global scene. He added: “Now, it is up to the Israelis to determine whether and how they will respond. We understand that and respect it. But the president was very clear: We are not seeking war with Iran.”

However, the latter was determined not to miss the opportunity, and he even embarrassed the Israeli president, who announced that his country would not respond to the Iranian attack, and confirmed that the cabinet was studying a military response that would not take long until Tehran confronted it. Israel also realizes that it has the temporary advantage of increasing US military forces in the region. These American forces are the mainstay of insurance for Israel. In addition to the presence of British and French forces, all of them contribute to repelling any attacks on Israel.

The war in Gaza was and will remain one of the most dangerous reasons for destabilising the region and has proven that the sponsors (Washington and Tehran) must pay special attention to preventing their agents, whether they are states like Israel or non-governmental groups like Iran’s local allies, from going outside the scope of the war. Let us take as an example the attack launched by Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi paramilitary group supported by Iran, on an American military site in eastern Jordan last January, which resulted in the death of three American soldiers. Although the incident may have been the result of a miscalculation rather than a deliberate act, it was the first time in years that American soldiers were killed by an Iranian-backed group. The United States responded by bombing several paramilitary facilities in Syria and Iraq, killing more than 40 fighters belonging to other Iraqi paramilitary groups. Iranian commanders and Hezbollah immediately realized that the attack crossed one of the red lines set by the United States. The situation was later redressed before it descended into undesirable consequences.

Targeting Iran has always been Israel’s top priority, and after the 11 September attacks on the United States, Washington placed Afghanistan and Iraq on the list of countries targeted for revenge, but Ariel Sharon urged President George W. Bush that the priority was Iran, not Iraq. But Bush’s goal at that time was to avenge his father, and this is another story. The United States of America is only fluent in the language of force. It does not have the capabilities to deal with politics like Britain, France, or even Russia. Therefore, it is not surprising that it was defeated in all of the battles that it managed alone, beginning with Vietnam, passing through the Bay of Pigs, and ending with the escape from Afghanistan. Therefore, the United States does not now intend to get involved militarily in a war that it sees as a drain on resources, energy, and prestige, but this does not at all prevent ensuring the security and protection of Israel against any Iranian reaction or from one of its arms.

Anyone who follows the American and Western media panic against what Tehran did confirms that the Israeli strike was inevitably coming. In any case, ending this round of direct conflict between Israel and Iran will not be the end. It will create new conditions in the region, starting with changing the ways and the rules of engagement, the rhythm of which will be adjusted until the balance of power is adjusted, which will witness a vacuum with the exit of countries from the new equation that will emerge in the future. This is, of course, while maintaining shadow wars because they will remain an outlet and an objective, less expensive alternative to engaging in direct conflicts that could destroy everything if they get out of control.

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