Iran’s role in Israel conflict

The sectarian difference could be too great

Since October 7, Israel has continuously targeted the innocent Palestinians in Gaza and other conflict zones. It has been noticed that for the last five days, Israel dropped more than 6000 bombs on the populace belt and killed more than 7000 people, which is the worst death toll and is numerous times higher than in the past. Cutting off food, water, internet and electricity is a shameful act of Israeli force. Specific buildings like schools, hospitals and rehabilitation centres have been targeted, and Israel has crossed the red line by killing women, children and older adults in air strikes. The international media still shows a cordial relationship with Israel and supports her for more action. On the other hand, the so-called Muslim ummah is watching the conflict on screen.

Iran, a major oil producer and a significant player in the Middle East, has supported Hamas with arms and financing to project power in the region and to enhance its leverage in its shadow war with Israel. Israel is wary about Iran’s role in that it might devastate its influence in Gaza and East Jerusalem and violent confrontation at the Al-Aqsa mosque to bolster Iran’s position.

Only Iran has shown its full support and is wary of being dragged into the Israel-Hamas war. The recent comments of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were criticized by the Western media that Iran firmly stands with the Palestinian people. He warned Israel that the bombardment of Israel on Gaza could have far-reaching consequences in the region if Israel could not halt its airstrikes. He further warned that this conflict would open new fronts if Israel did not stop itself from the air strike.

The foreign minister of Iran has also expressed his thoughts about the US role in the Israel conflict and has sent two messages to the Iranian government. “The first message said that the United States is not interested in expanding the war, and the second message asked Iran to have self-restraint and insisted that Iran should also ask other countries and other sides to have self-restraint. “He said that US hypocritical behaviour would never stop Israel from the ongoing operation in Gaza. Furthermore, the Iranian government openly said that US President Joe Biden has pledged continued support for Israel; this kind of diplomacy has hardened the Arabs’ sentiments across the region.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has compelled the Western powers for a watchful approach towards Iran’s involvement. Time will tell how this conflict will unfold and the potential impact on the oil market around the world.

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, warned Iran that the USA would act swiftly and decisively if Iran couldn’t staff itself from proxies in the Middle East amid the growing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

On one side, Iran is a Shia state, and Hamas is an independent Palestinian group and Sunni Islamic movement. However, the Western media still accused Iran of supporting Hamas by providing them with weapons and other financial support against Israel. Many scholars have their views that Tehran withdrew funding from Hamas when the group stood with protesters against Syria’s leader Bashar Assad, whom Tehran supported. They also blamed Hamas for having other backers in its support, like Turkey and a few Gulf countries. According to the report of International media, Hassen Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, met the senior leader of Hamas in Beirut and agreed to achieve a real victory for the resistance in Gaza and Palestine and to push back the Israeli forces in Gaza and the West Bank.

Iran’s backing of Hamas has had a visible impact. The Iranian-backed Hamas attacks have shown the group’s ability to penetrate Israel’s defences and cause casualties. This demonstration of power affords Iran substantial leverage in an escalating conflict with Israel. It has also enabled Iran to cultivate alliances with Sunni Muslim groups, broadening its influence beyond Shia factions.

A lecturer at SOAS University of London, Mr Seyed Ali Alavi, stated that there is a misunderstanding about Hamas’s relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said that Hamas is an Egypt-based connected ideology and has no root cause with Iran. As a Muslim brotherhood, Iran supported Hamas in the Syrian civil war when Hamas stood against President Bashar Assad and refused to support Iran’s initiative in Syria.

Hamas is a Sunni group and gets support from every country in the Palestine cause. Although Iran has supported Hamas politically, blaming it for direct war with Israel in the ongoing conflict is fiction and is concerned with facts. The Biden Administration accused Tehran of activating regional proxies to strike instead. The Washington media team has also expressed that Tehran does not want to confront the USA or Israel directly. However, it facilitates the attacks and targets the US forces and bases.

Washington has called on China to stop Iran and other countries in the Middle East to calm and prevent the conflict in the Gaza Strip. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his three-day visit to Washington, was informed that the USA is concerned about possible Iranian military action to support Hamas and Hizbollah that could trigger a border conflict in the Middle East.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has compelled the Western powers for a watchful approach towards Iran’s involvement. Time will tell how this conflict will unfold and the potential impact on the oil market around the world.

Rashid Mehmood
Rashid Mehmood
The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad, He can be reached at [email protected]


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