“Tehran’s message to Washington” regarding the response to the Damascus attack.. What does it mean?

Since the beginning of this April, Iranian threats have continued at the highest levels regarding implementing a military response to the attack that targeted the Tehran consulate in Damascus and caused the death of seven members of the Revolutionary Guard, including Major General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the most prominent Iranian military leader to be targeted since the Commander of the Corps. Former Jerusalemite Qassem Soleimani.

Last Wednesday, Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei confirmed that Israel will “be punished” and said that “consulates and embassies in any country are like the territory of that country, and an attack on our consulate means an attack on our territory.”

Before that, Iranian officials threatened Israel to respond to the attack and that Israel’s embassies were “no longer safe.”

However, Iranian sources told Reuters on Thursday that Tehran conveyed to Washington a message that it would respond to the Israeli attack on its embassy in a manner aimed at avoiding a major escalation and that it would not rush to respond.

The sources said that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian conveyed Iran’s message to Washington during a visit on Sunday to the Sultanate of Oman.

She added that Amir Abdullahian indicated during his meetings in Amman that Tehran was ready to reduce the escalation on the condition that demands were met, including a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, as well as reviving talks on its controversial nuclear program.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on any messages from Iran, but said that the United States conveyed to Iran that it did not participate in the attack on the embassy.

Neither the Iranian nor the Omani Foreign Ministry commented on Tehran’s message to Washington.

A source familiar with American intelligence information said that he had no knowledge of the message transmitted through the Sultanate of Oman, and stated that Iran “was very clear” that its response to the attack on its embassy compound in Damascus would be “disciplined” and “non-escalatory” and included plans “to use agents in the region to launch A number of attacks on Israel.

Diplomatic messages indicate a cautious approach taken by Iran at a time when it is calculating how to respond to the April 1 attack in a way that deters Israel from undertaking further such actions but avoids a military escalation into which the United States might be drawn.

What does Tehran’s message mean to Washington, and is Iran seeking to save face through a simple response after receiving guarantees that Israel will not escalate?

Iranian writer and political analyst Hussein Royran says that the Iranian response to the attack attributed to Israel is “inevitable and necessary for deterrence considerations.”

Royran added in an interview with Al-Hurra website that “failing to respond means violating Iranian security, and that any party can carry out an attack on the country given that it does not respond.”

Royran believes that “the response will be launched from within Iranian territory and not from outside it or by its allies” in the region.

Regarding the nature of this expected response, Royran points out that it will not be “very broad,” but will most likely be “proportionate to the size of the action carried out by Israel.”

The Iranian analyst believes that “the response will not be just a response, because there was an Israeli attack on Iranian territory and there were people killed in the attack, and therefore it is natural that there will be human losses on Israel’s part,” he said.

On Friday, the White House confirmed that Iran’s threats to Israel to respond are “real” and that the United States intends to “do everything possible to ensure that Israel is able to defend itself.”

Before that, US President Joe Biden warned that Iran “threatens to launch a major attack on Israel,” stressing the United States’ “steadfast” support for its main ally in the Middle East, despite diplomatic tensions between the two countries over the way Israel is managing its military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

On the other hand, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said that Israel and the United States stand “side by side” in confronting Iran.

Gallant stressed in a statement after his meeting with the Commander of the US Central Command, General Eric Kurella, who is visiting Israel, “Our enemies think that they can drive distance between Israel and the United States, but the opposite is true: they are bringing us closer to each other and strengthening our ties.”

The Israeli minister continued, “We are ready to defend ourselves on land and in the air in close cooperation with our partners, and we know how to respond.”

Game rules

Sameh Rashed, a researcher in regional affairs at Al-Ahram Center for Studies, believes that “the conflict between Iran and Israel is not a struggle for survival or a radical contradiction as it appears on the surface.”

He added to Al-Hurra website, “The mutual aggressive media discourse between them is driven by internal considerations, that is, for local consumption and to rally support for the ruling regime, whether in Iran or Israel.”

Rashid talked about previous cases that witnessed cooperation and coordination between the two sides, including, for example, “what was known as the Iran-Gate scandal” during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

Rashid continues that over the past four decades, since the clerics took control in Iran in 1979, “the actual behavior of Israel and Iran confirms the existence of a mutual keenness to avoid sliding into a comprehensive confrontation or a real war.”

He believes that “although Tehran has an advanced nuclear program and is on the verge of possessing a nuclear bomb, until now Israel has not intervened militarily against it, as it did with Iraq, for example, in 1980. Rather, it has been content with precise and carefully selected intelligence operations, such as electronic attacks or the assassination of scientists.”

“Even after Iran intervened militarily in Syria and now has a direct and multifaceted military presence, Israel is working to limit Iranian activity there within certain limits,” according to Rashid.

On the other hand, Rashid points out that “Iran has not moved directly against Israel despite the repeated and consecutive military invasions of Gaza and the violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories in general.”

Rashid asserts that “the ongoing war in Gaza is a major event that goes beyond all previous stations and tests between the two countries, but one can easily notice the extreme caution in dealing between them.”

“Israel is avoiding expanding the scope of the war, especially after stumbling in the face of the limited capabilities of the Palestinian resistance, and Iran fears a comprehensive and open confrontation that it knows it will wage alone against Tel Aviv and Washington together,” according to Rashid.

ظهرت في الأصل على www.alhurra.com

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