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Iranian Consulate: Political Procrastination of Unstable Alliances

The recent aggression does not appear to signify a departure from previous rules of engagement, Samer Dahi writes in Athr Press.
Iranian Consulate: Political Procrastination of Unstable Alliances

The targeting of the Iranian consulate building in Damascus marks another episode in the series of hostile actions carried out by the Israeli government on Syrian soil, following a pattern established since the al-Aqsa Flood on the seventh of last October. This pattern, characterized by the assassination of field leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, demonstrates a consistent approach rather than a deviation from established norms. 

The recent aggression does not appear to signify a departure from previous rules of engagement. Israel’s military capabilities afford it various options for conducting such operations, as evidenced by the nature of previous targeting over the past months. Therefore, the decision to target the consulate building appears to be a strategic choice with broader political implications, transcending mere military considerations. It serves as a calculated move to convey political intentions and influence the turbulent dynamics of the region.

The political message conveyed to Tehran, asserting Israel’s unwavering rejection of Iranian interests, may be viewed as provisional following the Aqsa Flood. However, strategically, it coincides with discussions surrounding the potential return to the Iranian nuclear agreement and the implications of such a move on acknowledging Iran’s role in the region. In this context, Washington emerges as a focal point, suggesting that the essence of the message is directed not so much at Tehran as it is at Washington, particularly the current US administration, amid a shifting landscape of alliances in the Middle East.

Former US President Donald Trump’s administration succeeded in advancing the Abraham Accords, forging qualitative agreements between Israel and the UAE, as well as understandings with other nations such as Morocco and Sudan. Expectations were high for the Biden administration to broker a Saudi-Israeli peace agreement, building upon the Abraham Accords. However, the Aqsa Flood halted this trajectory, highlighting unresolved issues within the Palestinian-Israeli war and exposing the inadequacies of the Abraham Accords in guaranteeing Palestinian rights sustainably.

Moreover, the international community’s renewed emphasis on prioritizing the two-state solution and recognizing Palestinian self-determination, contrasts with Israel’s stance, particularly under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who views these objectives as contentious matters in Israeli-American relations rather than immediate priorities.

Thus, Israel’s escalation can be interpreted as a rebuke to the Biden administration’s regional diplomatic efforts, aiming to assert Israeli interests and hinder any potential rapprochement between Washington and Tehran that might sideline Israeli concerns. This message is underscored by Israel’s assertive stance in Gaza, its refusal to allow the return of displaced Palestinians, and its determination to dismantle Hamas and expand military operations in Lebanon and Syria.

This escalation likely contributes to Iranian restraint, as both Iran and its allies prioritize averting a major confrontation in the region. Overall, the aggression against the Iranian consulate in Damascus represents not a fundamental shift in rules of engagement, but rather a political maneuver intended to challenge the Biden administration’s diplomatic initiatives and disrupt its alliances in the Middle East, with an eye toward future political transitions in the United States.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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