Message from Iran

Editorial Board
Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

Six months after the war which has dented the settler-state’s economy to a large extent, Israel seems largely uninterested in changing course. Its repeated provocations have finally led the Middle Eastern region to an inescapable situation: Iran’s willingness to retaliate against all future attacks. Two weeks after Israel’s unwarranted attack on Iran’s embassy in Syria (April 1), Iran attacked an airbase in Israel’s Negev desert on the night of April 13. This was hardly unexpected. Of course, world leaders had, right after the Iranian embassy attack, warned Iran against any retaliatory attacks. Apart from how this ‘caution’ smacks of hypocrisy and active cynicism regarding who and which side gets to ‘defend’ itself and which does not, most countries would have responded in some way to such a blatant attack. This is also hardly the first time Israel has targeted Iran. The Zionist state has been almost obsessively focused on Iran, in particular the country’s nuclear programme. Not only that, Israel has carried out real strikes and cyberattacks, assassinated scientists and done all manner of propaganda war against iran. A state painted as a pariah had till now exercised restraint. In 2020, an American drone killed Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian military officer, who analysts say played a vital role in training Palestinian fighters. At the time, foreign policy observers had expected a strong attack by Iran which however exercised restraint and avoided plunging the region into chaos and anarchy.

So what happens now? By many analysts, this was a message from iran: don’t attack us because we can attack you too. By others, this was also a tough situation for the Iranians: damned if they do, damned if they don’t. So they chose the best possible option: conduct a retaliatory strike but not one that ends up becoming a full-fledged war. Tehran had repeatedly warned Israel of an appropriate response to the consulate attack. Iran could have used high-capability missiles. it chose instead to send a warning shot. Now, with the US seemingly also saying it wants no role in some Israeli fantasy of a war on Iran, how will Israel react? Bibi is on a genocidal warpath so logic may escape him but without Western support, one wonders just how much of a stretched-out battleground this can become. What is needed is consensus and ceasefire. There is already a genocide going on in one part of the world, a war in another. What is needed is an absolute ceasefire. But it cannot stop there. At the heart of this all is the unresolved Palestinian question. For most commentators and analysts, unrest in the Middle East may have started from October 7. But, in reality, Israel has been testing the resolve of the Palestinian resistance and groups that support it for years now. Even during the latest war, Hamas has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the exchange of hostages held by both sides – a rational suggestion that Zionists see as an admission of failure. A few days after the war, Hezbollah in Lebanon amplified the call for a ceasefire, but Israel and its allies, including its sponsor US, kept ignoring all calls for restraint. Amid all this, Israel continued with its reckless attacks, including the attack on a Hamas leader in Lebanon, disrespecting the sovereignty of other independent states.

The West’s hypocrisy has become clear for all to see, but despite the hypocrisy, the cruelty, the sheer barbarism with which the lives of those in Palestine are treated differently to the lives of those either in the West or supported by the West – something’s got to give. The children of Gaza – those that remain – are dying slowly due to famine. Israel has gotten away with a literal genocide. it thinks it can bomb any country it wishes to and get away with that too. it may not be wrong in its estimation but self-defence is every country’s right – under international law. One hopes though that this is where it all ends. The region, the world, no one can afford more war and violence.