Dimensions of Israeli-Iranian Escalation

Mohammed Abu Oun                                                   

Tension rose between the Israeli occupation and the Islamic Republic of Iran after a series of cross-sea targeting, marking an unprecedented change in the Israeli-Iranian long history of conflict.  

Over the last decades, the Israeli-Iranian conflict was more implicit than now as the Israeli occupation had attempted frustrating the Iranian efforts in developing its nuclear project. The Israeli occupation has carried out several cyber-operations including the technical targeting of enrichment facilities and assassination of leading Iranian nuclear scientists, the most prominent of whom was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Recently, the occupation’s strategy in dealing with Iran became more explicit through targeting the Iranian assets under the pretext of conducting military exercises without officially declaring its responsibility for the operations. This strategy was clear in targeting the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility and sabotaging its electrical grid.

The cold war between the occupation and Iran turned into a naval one through a series of Iranian responses targeting Israeli vessels such as the MV Helios Ray and the Lori in February and March. The recent attack was the targeting of the Israeli ship Hyperion Ray outside the UAE port of Fujairah. The occupation in response targeted Iran Sawis, an Iranian ship in the Red Sea, and implied its responsibility for the attack.

It is clear that the occupation and Iran are not eager to hide the hostility they have for one another, and their responsibility for the attacks. This policy was an expected result of a series of major security operations which the occupation had conducted against Iran and which resulted in a great damage to the Iranian Republic. The policy also was in parallel to Iran's progress in its nuclear project and the occupation’s realization of the upcoming threat.

The Israeli occupation has become more focused on escalating with Iran. This policy has been carefully studied to exercise pressure on the European and US powers that have been working on resuming the nuclear agreement with Iran. The occupation probably meant to prepare a number of excuses for the United States to prevent the conclusion of the agreement, especially after the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to the entity, and the Chief of Staff and Chief of Mossad’s coming visit to Washington later this month as Haaretz reported.

The new escalations between Iran and Israel offered PM Netanyahu a great chance to strengthen his position in forming a new government. He wanted to encourage right-wing and extremist supporters, particularly Naftali Bennett and Bezalel Smotrich, to enter into the Knesset formation under his leadership and accept his proposals to build an alliance in the Knesset that ensures his success.

Finally, the Iranian-Israeli conflict has been going for long, but now it has an unfamiliar strategy that the occupation followed in order to serve its internal programs, i.e. forming a new government; and its external programs, i.e. exercising pressure on the United States and the European Union which are involved the nuclear agreement with Iran.