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Iran’s Tightening Noose

May 23, 2023
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In April, the Hebrew daily Makor Rishon ran a chilling op-ed entitled ‘“Death to Israel’: The Iranian Plan to Attack Israel.” The piece was penned by Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a well-respected Arab scholar with 25 years of service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military intelligence under his belt. According to Kedar, Iran is planning a “staged, comprehensive, integrated and coordinated attack on Israel.”

The multi-pronged attack will start with a rain of missiles and UAVs from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Gaza, incapacitating the Iron Dome and grounding the air force. A full-scale cyberattack aimed at devastating vital Israeli infrastructure will accompany the shower of death.

Iran calculates that the ferocity of the initial attack will cause a delay in the mobilization of reserve forces, leaving only the regular forces to defend the borders and creating the ideal environment for stage two of the attack. Thousands of terrorists on dirt bikes and ATVs will pour into Israel from Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, decimating the thinly-spread Israeli troops and heading straight for Jewish border communities.

However, according to Kedar, Iran itself will conveniently stay out of the fray, thus keeping its hands clean and claiming plausible deniability. Instead, it will mobilize its proxies—Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq—to accomplish their dirty work.

And judging by what these proxies have to say, the scenario is not farfetched.

The Head of the Snake

“The slightest mistake against our country will be responded [to] with a harsh response and will be accompanied by the destruction of Haifa and Tel Aviv. The enemies of the Islamic Revolution, especially the Zionist Regime, have received the message of the power of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
—Ebrahim Raisi, president of Iran

“The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region. It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed.”
—Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran

“Khomeini used the word bayad, which means “must,” giving the sentences a clear and commanding ethos. The quote contained no conditionality, and…it was used to draw a sharp contrast between the policy of the new revolutionary government in Iran toward Israel and those of Muslim nations who sought normalization with the Jewish state.”
— Behnam Ben Taleblu, in “When Iran Says ‘Death to Israel’, It Means It”, published in the Atlantic

“This is the end of the era of limited conflicts. We are facing a new security era in which there may be a real threat to all arenas at the same time. We operated for years under the assumption that limited conflicts could be managed, but that is a phenomenon that is disappearing. Today, there is a noticeable phenomenon of the convergence of the arenas…Iran is the driving force in the convergence of the arenas. It transfers resources, ideology, knowledge and training to its proxies. The increasing dependence [of the proxies] on Iran leads them to step over the boundaries and become more brazen.”
—Yoav Gallant, Israeli defense minister

Iran’s Terror Puppets

“Senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials met in Beirut with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to coordinate their moves against Israel.”
—Ben Caspit in “Israeli Fears Grow of United Hezbollah–Hamas–Iran Front,” published by Al-Monitor

“This position is that Palestine from river to sea must be liberated. Israel has no legitimacy to exist at all and must be destroyed.”
—Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hezbollah

“We say that we are in an advanced position and that Israel will depart from all of Palestine…”
—Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas Political Bureau

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
—Hamas Charter

“We are creating might in Lebanon because we want to fight our enemy from there with all our strength. Hezbollah today has tremendous might on the ground that can on its own break the Zionist regime…Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan. Orders are awaited so that…the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now.”
—Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Iran Revolutionary Guards

“What the Zionist enemy must know is that peace and security will not come as long as Palestine is occupied, and that compromise agreements lead to nothing but defeat and despair.”
—A statement published by the Houthis following a deadly terror attack in Israel

How Serious is the Threat?

“Iran feels increasing self-confidence. In its view, the West is deterred and lacks effective tools against it. While Israel is busy dealing with Iran’s proxies, Iran is getting stronger economically and militarily and this gives it room for action. This is something that should keep the whole world, and Israel, awake at night.”
—Yoav Gallant, Israeli defense minister

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