Why Israel is risking a dramatic escalation with Iran — RT World News

While the recent Israeli airstrike in Syria appears quite dysfunctional, there appears to be clear strategic thinking

On April 1, Israel bombed and Ultimately, the building attached to the Iranian consulate was destroyed It is located next to the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria. This strike, which resulted in the deaths of seven military officials, was widely condemned by the international community as a clear violation of Syria's sovereignty, as well as the Vienna Convention and established norms of international relations.

A peek through history It shows that government actors never attack diplomatic missions of other countries, except during periods of total war. A more recent and relevant example is when the United States bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, today's Serbia, in 1999, which it claimed was an accident. But Beijing certainly did not believe this to be the case Apologies though From the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Such a situation is completely unacceptable and sets a terrible precedent in international relations. Israel, as well as countries such as the United States, have no right to conduct military actions in Syria without the explicit approval of the UN-recognized Syrian government. Doing so would be a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter.

In addition to violating the UN Charter, the attack on the Iranian consulate is a clear violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

It is a bold maneuver for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to resort to such an escalation. The question is: Why did Israel do that?

According to the New York Times, one of the raids killed the general Mohammad Reza ZahediBelieved to have been responsible for Tehran's relations with Hezbollah in Lebanon and other non-state groups in Syria, he served extensively throughout the Middle East during his tenure.

Perhaps the most simple explanation for the attack is that it was intended to stifle the organization's logistical operations “Axis of resistance” And any possible attack against Israel by a united front.

At the same time, it is perhaps much more complex, and could be linked to the fact that the current US policy of granting carte blanche to Israel will almost certainly not continue until the end of this decade. For Israel's military leaders, now may be the only time to act in what could be an existential war.

Public opinion in the West has declined toward Israel and its ongoing atrocities in Gaza, but it did not start there. In 2021, during weeks of fighting in Gaza that year, for the first time ever, members of the US Congress gold Registered to criticize Israel. The following year, she represented mainstream human rights organizations Amnesty International And Human Rights Watch Publishing scathing reports accusing Israel of apartheid.

In the middle of last month, President Joe Biden's administration abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Biden also personally told Netanyahu on April 4 that he must change his approach to the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza. Despite these actions, the United States has insisted that the UN Security Council resolution is non-binding and continues to provide weapons to the Israeli war effort, making any words or abstentions moot.

Even if American support may be shakier than in the past, it is clear that Washington still nominally stands by the Jewish state — at least for now. Therefore, it can be seen that the risks for Israel are very high.

Finally, there is an undeniable factor that the survival of the current Israeli government is the main driving force behind this attack. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in Washington, on March 14 spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu personally. In a letter To the Senate.

The leader was accused “Allowing his political survival to take precedence over Israel’s best interests.” The senator called for new elections, adding that Israel “We cannot hope to succeed as an outcast opposed by the rest of the world.”

Israel, the best-equipped military state in the Middle East, is in a state of all-out war with the guerrilla group, Hamas, which fights relatively with sticks and stones. The fact that it has not yet achieved its goal of eliminating Hamas and releasing the hostages it took on October 7 of last year is extremely embarrassing for the Netanyahu government. In addition, the near-uniform international reaction against Israel for its military actions in Gaza has made the situation unsustainable – although retreat would also mean political suicide for the Likud Party.

It is clear that the Israeli Prime Minister needs to exit. The obvious path is to provoke the Iranian government into a major escalation, shift international attention away from Israel's crimes in Gaza, and force Washington and its allies instead to rally behind the Jewish state in clear self-defense. Interestingly, Biden appeared to be making room for such a strategy during his recent call with Netanyahu when he also added that the United States would defend against it. “General Iranian threats Against Israel and the Israeli people.For its part, Israel did Iran warned Could take things to a “New level” If you respond to the air strike in Damascus.

Judging by the reaction from within Iran, evidenced by official statements and reports from state media, it is clear that large sectors of civil and elite society in Tehran are demanding revenge for this attack. According to anonymous Western intelligence reports reported by Bloomberg media, Such an attack is very likely.

But it is also possible that this is exactly what the Israeli government wants to happen, hoping that the need for retaliation — combined with the emotions aroused by the situation in Gaza — will force the Iranian government to make a strategic blunder, allowing Israel to retaliate. A last-ditch effort was made to secure American support for its military efforts as well as ensure Netanyahu's political survival.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.

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