According to news reports, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, stated during a phone call with his British counterpart, James Cleverley, on November 3, 2023, that “The resistance forces in the region do not take orders from Iran.”

“The Resistance Forces” is the term used by Iranian authorities to refer to their proxies in the Middle East region, including groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Hashd al-Shaabi and Al-Nujba in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, the Husayioun in Azerbaijan, Zainbyoun and Fateminun in Syria, and many others. These groups have been involved in destabilizing operations in the Middle East region, with financial support from the IRGC.

However, it’s worth noting that this statement came after Amir-Abdollahian claimed in an interview with CNN that Iran does not have any involvement with proxy groups in the region.

just a few weeks prior, the Iranian Foreign Minister, during a press conference at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, made a threatening statement, saying, “everyone’s hands are on the trigger and ready to fire.” This was perceived as a threat to deter Israel from conducting a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

This change in tone by the Iranian Foreign Minister reflects a broader shift in rhetoric from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei. While Khamenei had previously called for the destruction of Israel and its people in the past, primarily due to the ongoing Israeli settlements in what he termed as occupied Palestinian lands, he recently focused on calling for a change of government in Israel. Khamenei now falsely claims that he never advocated for the eradication of the Israeli people.

In a coordinated move, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, had threatened Israel last week. He warned that if Israel did not cease its attacks on Hamas by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3rd, Hezbollah would retaliate. However, after the expiration of the ultimatum, not only did he not take any action, but during a conciliatory speech, he openly distanced himself from his previous positions.

It seems that the Iranian regime has failed to achieve the goals it had predicted and expected from the Hamas attack.

Given that almost all of Hamas’s budget is provided by the IRGC, it is naive to assume that the Iranian regime was unaware of Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel. Especially since Khamenei, in his meetings with the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, had repeatedly demanded that all Palestinians be armed, even those living in the West Bank, for the final war with Israel.

Therefore, we must accept that Hamas’s attack on Israel was based on a plan designed by the IRGC to achieve specific goals.

To understand the objectives of the Revolutionary Guards from planning the Hamas attack on Israel, we must review the events that happened shortly before this attack.

One of the most important developments related to the policies of the Iranian government, which could serve as an incentive for Hamas to carry out operations in Israel, is the adherence of Western countries to the continuation of the sanctions stipulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, despite the expiration of the validity period of this resolution. While the validity period of the sanctions mentioned in this resolution, which pertain to Iran’s missile industries, ended on October 18, the countries of Great Britain, France, and Germany announced in a letter to Josep Borrell, the Head of European External Service Action, that the sanctions related to Iran’s missile industries will be maintained. Prior to this, the United States also officially announced that it will not only uphold unilateral sanctions on companies involved in Iran’s missile industries but will also add new sanctions to the list of previous sanctions. On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran stated that if the missile sanctions continue, Iran will retain the right to take any reciprocal action. Given the destabilizing actions of the Tehran government, particularly in the Middle East region, can Hamas’s attacks on Israel be considered equivalent to the “reciprocal action” mentioned in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran’s statement?

To answer this question, we can once again refer to Amir Abdullahian’s press interview in Beirut at the beginning of the Hamas invasion and Israel’s readiness to send ground forces into the Gaza Strip. In this interview, Amir Abdollahian threatened that everyone’s hands are on the trigger. At that time, the statement of the three European countries to continue the missile sanctions had not yet been issued, but there were talks about the activation of the “trigger mechanism”. Based on this mechanism that was foreseen in the resolution, it was possible that all the sanctions specified in the resolution would be reimposed without the need for re-approval by the Security Council. Perhaps the use of the word “trigger” by Amir Abdollahian was a threatening response to the possibility of activation of the trigger mechanism by Western countries supporting Israel.

But the subsequent change of tone of the Iranian authorities, even after the issuance of the statement of three European countries regarding the maintenance of missile sanctions, can be related to the threats of Western countries, especially the United States. In this regard, it is possible to refer to the statements of the US Deputy National Security Adviser in an interview with CNN. In this conversation, referring to Tehran’s efforts to train and provide weapons to Palestinian militant groups, he said: “In the recent attack by Hamas on Israel, Iran was generally an accomplice.” He clarified that “Iran is “without a doubt” indirectly responsible for supporting and training Hamas forces, but it is not clear whether Tehran was directly involved in the attack or not.” He said: “In terms of public complicity, our positions regarding the role of Iran have been completely clear. What we don’t know yet, and of course we continue to carefully investigate, is whether Iran had some kind of direct involvement in this story or not.” Recent attacks or not? According to these statements, it seems that the Iranian government, which was on the verge of getting rid of the eight-year backbreaking sanctions, has suddenly become involved in a new problem, and that is participation in a terrorist attack, once again lead to the formation of an international coalition against Iran, of which international sanctions can be the least consequence.

What seems to be the case is that Hamas has ruined the entire program of the Islamic Republic of Iran by overkilling in killings – which is of course an inherent characteristic of this terrorist group – in the October 7 operation. Probably, Iran’s plan, was the carrying out a limited operation to implement the policy of hostage-taking – a policy that it has successfully followed for the past forty years – and at the same time by mobilizing public opinion and stirring emotions, especially in the Western society, through cyber forces and leftist groups that are traditional allies of Iran and Palestine is considered to put pressure on the western governments to desist from extending the missile sanctions specified in Resolution 2231 after its expiration. The Iranian government did not anticipate that as a logic reaction to excessive killing and violence by Hamas, Israel’s ground forces would enter the Gaza Strip with the support of Western countries and destroy the infrastructure that had been created with billions of dollars of Iranian government aid over many years to cut Iran’s hands off the Palestinian issue forever.

It is obvious that according to the official statement of the Israeli government, there is clear evidence of the direct involvement of the IRGC forces in Hamas’ crimes against Israeli citizens. But Western countries prefer to give the Iranian government the last chance to get out of this situation in order to prevent the spread of conflicts. For the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the one hand, this means an opportunity to survive, and on the other hand, it means the loss of forty years of influence in the Palestinian issue, for which it had invested billions of dollars.

It is according to this point that the recent positions of Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, regarding the terrorist attacks of Hamas can be understood. Iran and Turkey have been engaged in sometimes bloody competition for the leadership of the Islamic world since five hundred years ago (at that time, the Ottoman Empire). In recent years, the countries of Saudi Arabia and Egypt have entered the competition to some extent. But the point is that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are candidates for the leadership of the Arab world more than they are candidates for the leadership of the Islamic world. Therefore, the main competition remains between Iran and Turkey. Considering the large population of Muslims living in Western societies, who, due to the democratic mechanisms, potentially have an effective and vital role in the policy-making process and decision-making at the macro levels of these societies, it is very important to get the Muslim leadership of the world for both Iran and Turkey.

Over the past years, attaining leadership in the Islamic world has presented a formidable challenge for Iran. This is due to the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is governed by a radical Shiite group. Considering that, at best, Shiites constitute only ten percent of the world’s Muslim population, Iran must persuade the Sunni Muslims, who make up ninety percent of the world’s Muslims, to accept its spiritual and religious leadership. To achieve this, the Iranian government has employed a strategy of portraying the leaders of other Muslim-majority countries as traitors, particularly concerning the Palestinian issue. This approach is rooted in historical grievances and exploits the general ignorance of many Muslims to disrupt the peace process, particularly between Israel and Palestine. Iran has chosen to emphasize these longstanding grudges, despite Israel having signed peace treaties with its neighboring Arab countries, except for Syria, and established agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legal representative of the Palestinian people. In this manner, the Shiite government of Iran has sought to assert itself as the protector and advocate of Muslims, at least in the context of Palestine, to the global Muslim community.

Due to the policies adopted by the Turkish government during the first years of the third millennium to join the European Union and adhere to some of the requirements set by the European Union as a precondition for Turkey’s joining the Union, Turkey was forced to try for a while. In order to lead the Islamic world, he should distance himself and practically leave this field to Iran.

With the establishment of the Islamist Justice and Development Party and the adoption of some anti-secularist policies, Turkey slowly moved away from the goal of membership in the European Union and instead decided like Iran, to use the existing potential of Muslim minorities living in Western countries as a pressure tool.

Since then, the competition between the governments of Iran and Turkey to gain the support of the world’s Muslims entered a more serious stage, although the competition also took on the aspect of cooperation in cases such as dispatching  waves of refugees to European countries.

Thus, it seems that one of the immediate results of the conflict between Hamas and Israel , is the destruction of the long-term investments of the Islamic Republic of Iran to play a leadership role in the Islamic world. On the other hand, now that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been forced to distance itself from the Palestinian issue to avoid conflict with the West, the Turkish president is attempting to fill the void of the rival and has therefore hastily fueled populist comments about Palestine.

However, it does not appear that Turkey is very successful in this regard. News has been published that after the destruction of Hamas, the administration of the Gaza Strip will be handed over to Saudi Arabia to finalize a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s access to the Mediterranean Sea, as an important part of Project of India – Middle-East – Europe Corridor (IMEC), in which Saudi Arabia plays a central role in its implementation, should be realized.

From here, we enter the second stage of Iran’s goals of launching Hamas’ war against Israel, and that is disrupting the rapprochement process of Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, with Israel.

Although it seems that Iran has achieved this goal to some extent in the short term and the process of rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel has stopped due to the war in Gaza, considering the fact that the rapprochement of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries with Israel is based on inevitable economic requirements, it must be admitted that the Islamic Republic of Iran has failed in this goal as well. Saudi Arabia’s participation in the IMEC project, which connects India and Saudi Arabia to Europe through Haifa port in Israel, is certain, and subsequently the full political establishment of political and economic relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia is inevitable. Thus, we may expect a complete convergence between the Middle East countries centered on Israel.

From here, we can reach the third goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran to start a proxy war with Israel, which is to satisfy the proxy groups.

Since last year, Iran had been moving closer to Saudi Arabia by deviating from the principles of its foreign policy, and in this way, in addition to paying a heavy price for numerous terrorist acts, including the Khobar Towers bombing and the illegal occupation of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, it also caused discontent of one of its most important proxy groups, the Yemeni Houthis, who are at war with a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

In fact, the war with Israel, along with receiving money and weapons, has always been one of the important motivations of proxy groups to accept the mandate of the Revolutionary Guards. With the rapprochement between Tehran and Saudi Arabia over the past year, the legitimacy of Iran’s sovereignty was seriously damaged by proxy groups.

The firing of several missiles towards Israel by the Yemeni Houthis, who receive all their money and weapons from Iran, shows the problems that have arisen in the relations between Iran and its proxies.

The fourth motivation that convinced Iran’s leaders to launch a proxy war against Israel was the need to divert public opinion from domestic policies and failures. Last month, a sixteen-year-old girl named Armita was killed by the Iranian police. The regime kept her in an artificial coma for a while in a military hospital. The official announcement of her death could turn into a political earthquake in Iran like the death of “Mahsa Amini” and bring millions of people to the streets to protest.

Especially since this murder happened on the eve of the fourth anniversary of Bloody November, during which at least fifteen hundred people were killed in peaceful protests over extreme fuel price increases.

The proxy attack of Hamas on Israel allowed the regime to change the public atmosphere of the society as a whole. Few forces loyal to the regime prevented the news of Armita’s death from becoming a serious problem for the regime by launching support campaigns in Gaza. become in the meantime, the regime tried to mobilize public opinion against Israel through the wide network it has, especially among the leftist forces in the world. They published the fake news about the casualties caused by Israel’s ground operations in Gaza and even this news was republished by UN officials without attention that the main source of this news was Hamas, which is a terrorist Group.

In general, four motivations for the Iranian regime to launch a proxy war against Israel can be mentioned: dissuading the western parties from continuing the missile sanctions, disrupting the process of rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries with Israel under the Abraham Peace Accords, gaining the satisfaction of the proxy groups and finally deviation of domestic public opinion from political and internal failures.

Regarding the first motive, it should be said that the plan of the regime has met with a complete failure by the extension of Iran’s missile sanctions by the Western powers. Also, although it seems that there has been a break in the process of Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement with Israel, but the global determination to advance the IMEC project will certainly involve Saudi Arabia and Israel in an inevitable convergence.

Also, the destruction of Hamas can be a precursor to the destruction of other proxies such as the Houthis and Hezbollah, so the plan of the Iranian regime has also failed in this context.

But in the field of domestic politics, everything depends on the Iranian people and when they want to completely pass the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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