Topic:

Iran

The Iranian Modus Operandi

| December 6, 2018

Time and again in recent decades, Iran has used its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attempt to deprive Israel of calm borders with its neighbors. As this problem is likely to recur in the context of the Gaza Strip, it is essential – and by no means impossible – to root it out from that area.

The Russian-Israeli Crisis over Syria Lacks an Exit Strategy

| December 5, 2018

Israeli and Russian interests in Syria are colliding. Russia’s new posture is challenging Israel’s defensive campaign against Iran, and Moscow and Jerusalem have so far been unable to defuse the crisis.

The IAEA’s Impotence vis-à-vis Iran

| November 30, 2018

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s appeal to Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at the UN General Assembly in New York in September was met with a cold shoulder. The latest IAEA report claims that Iran continues to be in compliance with the 2015 JCPOA deal restricting its nuclear activities, despite the revelations by Israeli intelligence this year that showed Tehran’s clandestine military nuclearization. The Trump administration has promised that it will press the IAEA to examine the Israeli revelations.

The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market

| November 25, 2018

Senior officials in the Trump administration have indicated that the sanctions recently imposed on the Islamic Republic were intended to significantly change its behavior. This declaration is inconsistent with its granting of an exemption to the eight countries – particularly China and India – that make up the bulk of Iranian oil exports. The administration’s decision reflects, among other things, the desire to avoid a shake-up in global oil prices and a pragmatic approach that allows room for maneuver for countries that are not ready to immediately halt their purchases of Iranian oil. However, the decision is being interpreted by Tehran as a sign of weakness and an achievement for Iranian foreign policy.

The Messages Behind the Iranian Missile Strike in Iraqi Kurdistan

| November 20, 2018

A missile strike on September 8 in Iraqi Kurdistan conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran killed 18, including the father of this author, and injured another 40. Though Tehran claims the strike was retaliation for an attack on a military post that had been claimed by an armed Kurdish group, the threat posed by the Iranian Kurds to the Islamist regime is not sufficient to justify such a violent attack. The strike was likely a message intended not only for the Iranian Kurds, but for the Saudis, the Americans, and the Israelis as well.

The Fragility of Middle East Alliances

| November 12, 2018

Competition among Middle Eastern rivals and ultimate power within the region’s various alliances is increasingly as much economic and commercial as it is military and geopolitical. Battles are fought as much on geopolitical fronts as they are on economic and cultural battlefields such as soccer.

The EU’s Utopian Approach to Iran

Europe’s attitude towards Iran, particularly with respect to the 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA) and related ballistic issues, is hard to understand. A collective desire to defy the US, which pulled out of the JCPOA in May and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran, can’t be the cardinal reason. It is more likely that the EU states are succumbing to a sophisticated blackmail campaign directed by the Iranian regime aimed at preserving the JCPOA and deepening existing cleavages among the transatlantic partners.

The Russian Perspective on the Downing of the IL-20

| October 22, 2018

The downing of a Russian air force plane by Syrian government forces was a predictable consequence of the overcrowding of the Syrian battleground. The Russians might genuinely be angry at what happened, but from a geopolitical perspective, they understand that Israel will not abstain from further military interventions in Syria when needed. Israel’s national interest is at stake, and Jerusalem will not allow Iran to increase its already substantial presence.

Israel Must Rethink Its Syria Strategy After Downing of Russian Plane

The downing of the Russian plane requires Israel to reevaluate the continued relevance of its years-long air campaign in Syria. While the struggle to prevent the entrenchment of Iranian forces in Syria and the arming of Hezbollah with “tie-breaking” strategic weapons must continue, the nature and format of the campaign need to be adjusted to the new strategic reality that is being created by Moscow.

What Is the Right Strategy with Hamas: Make Concessions or Fight?

| September 27, 2018

What should the strategy regarding Hamas be –make concessions or initiate a fourth round of fighting? It is best for Israel to prolong the negotiations as long as possible, concede as little as possible, and wait until the sanctions against Iran come into full force. Then Israel should prepare for the next big round – not to defeat Hamas, but to tame it and keep the Palestinians divided.