Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Iran and Political Hallucination

As Israel strikes Gaza, targeting Islamic Jihad with arrests and assassinations, the head of Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, said that Hezbollah was capable of wiping Israel off the map when the time is right.

Speaking on Friday evening in the city of Sari in northern Iran, he said that “security in the Zionist entity is declining, and Hezbollah is planning to deal it its final blow at the time is right;” adding that “Hezbollah, in eradicating this artificial entity, will achieve the aspirations of Imam Khomeini in wiping it off the map and the earth.” He also reaffirmed Iran’s support for Hezbollah.

The question we must direct at the Quds Force Commander and all the factions aligned with the lying axis of resistance is: when will it be the “right time” to wipe Israel off “the map and the earth?”

This question is especially pertinent given because the Quds Force Commander made these statements while Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib says that the border demarcation negotiations with Israel have reached an advanced stage.

Speaking to the Lebanese newspaper Al Joumhouria, Bou Habib explained that “we have made significant progress during the negotiations, and we are in advanced stages on several fronts, including technical stages of the talks. These negotiations will be made between US mediator Amos Hochstein’s team and the Lebanese team of experts.”

The pressing question thus becomes, when will it be the “right time” to wipe Israel “off the map and the earth” as the Quds Force Commander has promised? Why not now, in response to the Israeli strikes on Gaza targeting Islamic Jihad?

Even worse, on Saturday, Iranian television broadcasters quoted IRGC Commander Hossein Salami as saying: “The Israelis will pay a heavy price for their latest crimes.” He made the statements during a meeting with Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala, who is in Iran!

And so, the least we can say about these recent Iranian statements regarding Israel is that they are political hallucinations and attempts to promote an illusion to followers who have chosen to ignore reason and avoid comparing words with actions.

The war in Gaza is neither the first nor the last. However, with every eruption of war, Iran reaffirms that it is exploiting Gaza, just like it is exploiting Lebanon, to strengthen its hand at the negotiating table with the West. We all know that Iran has not and will not fire a bullet at Israel, neither to defend Lebanon nor Gaza.

History is witness to when, during the 2006 Lebanon War, Hassan Nasrallah went on screen to call on those who love Lebanon to stop the war. Lebanon today is not suffering from war to the extent that it is suffering from Iranian occupation enforced by Hezbollah, which has now come to threaten the collapse of the state.

For this reason, we are faced with Iranian political hallucinations that have only left destruction and scorched earth behind them in the region over the past four decades. That is true for Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, to say nothing about the scale of the calamity in Iraq.

This state of affairs will not change, and the hallucinations will not end until Iran pays a real price for all of its crimes in our region.