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Israel and Iran… the Strategic Shift

Israel and Iran… the Strategic Shift

Wednesday, 1 February, 2023 - 12:15
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

It seems that we are looking at a strategic shift in the way Israel deals with the Iranian regime, not only with regard to the nuclear issue but also the “fake heroics” of Tehran through its use of regional militias, like Hezbollah and Hamas.

An Israeli drone attack was launched against Iranian nuclear facilities in Isfahan from within Iran, and according to the information currently at our disposal, this marks a strategic shift that could lead to real changes.

Indeed, the plan is now to “target the head of the octopus,” i.e., striking Iran rather than its militia proxies. It has done so, and this is no longer the “shadow war” we had seen Israel wage before.

True, striking the nuclear facilities in Isfahan is a major step that makes the nuclear program of Iran the target of Israel’s attacks. However, it also coincides with Benjamin Netanyahu's return to the premiership.

It also followed meetings between Israel and the US that addressed the Iranian nuclear program, as well as an unannounced meeting that was recently reported by US news outlets that saw the director of the CIA visit Israel.

This meeting does not definitely mean that Americans gave the green light, but the Israeli strike on Isfahan comes after Israel and the US conducted large-scale massive joint military exercises about a week ago.

All of this cannot be ignored, of course. However, it is also remarkable that the Israeli strike in Isfahan came after incidents that claimed the lives of Palestinians and Israelis, meaning that what we saw was a strategic shift in Israel’s posture. It is now retaliating directly on Iranian territory rather than retaliating against the militias.

The New York Times shared a video currently making the rounds of former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who served in his position for a year, saying he decided to put a “price tag” and strike inside Iran in retaliation to any attack on Israelis or Jews around the world.

“Our soldiers are dying on the border… They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while we do nothing to them,” he added.

Moreover, Israel has already eliminated a senior Iranian security official who had been planning to assassinate an Israeli businessman in Türkiye.

And so, the Israeli drone attack in Isfahan launched from inside Iran tells us that Israel has infiltrated Iranian security services. Talk of targeting ballistic missile factories or drone factories means that Israel is also advancing the agenda of the Europeans.

In fact, the Europeans are now under real pressure to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization despite the statements of High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, who was met with pushback after claiming that the IRGC cannot be classified as a terrorist organization without an EU court ruling.

To conclude, Israel’s strategy for dealing with the Iranian regime is changing. US officials are becoming increasingly adamant that concluding a nuclear deal with Iran is almost impossible now. Thus, we can see that we are on the brink of a different kind of battle, and Iran seems to be the weakest link. All of its options are suicidal.

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