Many regional countries would like to see Iran directly involved in a war with Israel, because it will inflict great damage on the country, two commentators told the media in Tehran.

Government controlled media in Tehran has been abuzz with bellicose statements by some officials and at the same time warnings of remaining cool-headed by many pundits, following Israel’s April 1 air strike that killed seven IRGC officers in the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

The leadership of the Islamic Republic, and particularly Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei face a challenging political dilemma – launch a forceful retaliatory attack and risk a wider war, possibly involving the United States, or exercise restraint and look for less dramatic alternatives. However, Tehran’s proxies around the region, its domestic supporters, and even ordinary Iranians opposed to the government, might see any hesitation as a sign of weakness.

Former chairman of Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, stated on Sunday that, “The interests of all actors in the region today lie in dragging Iran into war. In the current situation, Iran is alone.” He went on to accuse Russia of pursuing the same goal. Falahatpisheh emphasized that war in the Middle East is in the interest of Moscow. While Russia has refused to deliver Sukhoi-35 warplanes to Iran and its air defenses have not confronted Israeli aircraft over Syria, its diplomats engage in provocative rants at the UN Security Council.

The former lawmaker cautioned against any escalation by Iran. “The country should not make a strategic mistake while in isolation. Therefore, while strengthening defensive capabilities, Iran should not fall into the trap and sedition created by [Benjamin] Netanyahu.”

Rahman Ghahremanpour, another well-known commentator, also reiterated that Iran is alone in the region and Israel’s air strike in Damascus was a unique provocation to drag Tehran into a wider war. He also agreed with Falahatpisheh that other countries in the region would like to see Iran entangled in a war that will destroy its military power and weaken it. Although he did not name any country, but the reference could well be directed at Sunni Arab states in the region that have long been tormented by Iran’s expanding influence and armed proxies.

A relatively independent news website, Entekhab, argued that Tehran has four alternatives to choose from in deciding how to respond to Israel.

First, Iran, relying on its missile and drone capabilities, targets military or infrastructure objectives in Israel in retaliatory attacks. While punishing Israel, it will demonstrate its missile power and deterrent capability at the regional and international levels.

Second, in a tit-for-tat fashion Iran targets an Israeli diplomatic mission in one of the regional countries, thus demonstrating a proportional response.

Third, Iran, relying on the operational capabilities and drone power of its regional proxy groups, carries out targeted and impactful attacks on Israeli military bases and critical centers, in indirect retaliation.

Fourth, to avoid regional escalation, Iran refrains from any immediate response, instead adopting strategic patience, and engaging in a war of psychological attrition against Israel, while preserving its military power.

Entekhab concluded that considering many statements by officials and influential figures in the Iranian regime, it is safe to assume that Tehran has adopted that latter option.

Source » iranintl