On #Iran and #Israel: the big story is in #Syria

Yesterday, majority of the attention of the international media was on Netanyahu’s comments and revelations regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

As far as the nuclear deal is concerned, his revelations did not reveal anything which can be used to say Iran cheated after the nuclear deal was implemented. Yes, we know that Iran lied before when it said it never had a nuclear weapons program. This is an important reason why  the nuclear deal was reached in the first place: to make sure that if Iran lies again and tries to make a bomb, we have a better monitoring system to detect its activities. This is also why the Iran nuclear deal made sure that between all the countries of the world who are signatories of the NPT, Iran is the most inspected country by the IAEA. It’s precisely because Iran lied before that the nuclear deal put such tough inspections in place.

To me, the two BIGGER stories yesterday which could have geopolitical consequences were:

1- reports by the foreign press which suggested that Israel had attacked two different places in Syria. In one of these attacks, 200 missiles were reported to have been destroyed. The explosion was so large, that seismic measures were registered. Iran wanting to transfer 200 missiles into Syria and Israel reportedly destroying them show that the conflict is entering a new phase.

2- the other important story, as reported by the Times of Israel being: “In a surprise and potentially far-reaching victory for Benjamin Netanyahu, the Knesset on Monday evening gave the prime minister the authority to declare war or order a major military operation by consulting only the defense minister, and not via a full cabinet vote as the law had previously required.” The deal was backed by 62 Knesset members, with 41 opposing.

Israel for the last 3 years telling Iran via the Russians that they will not allow the Revolutionary Guards to use Syria territory to threaten Israel. Israelis government officials have repeated this message until they are blue in the face and Russians have passed on the message to Iranian officials.

Additionally, in countless Track II meetings where Iranian and European academic meet, Israeli academics via their European colleagues have passed on the similar message to Iranian academics on umpteen occasions. But the Revolutionary Guards has ignored this message..So when you put points 1 + 2 together = Israel is done with using diplomacy. The Revolutionary Guards and their commander Ayatollah Khamenei do not seem to be interested in finding a diplomatic solution via the Russians. And most importantly to Israel, the Russians realize this. Don’t expect them to rush to the Revolutionary Guard’s help.