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Israel-Iran crisis UPSC NOTE

 Benjamin Netanyahu's Concerns:

  • In March 2018, during an interview, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, was asked about Israel's greatest threats.

  • Netanyahu unequivocally stated "Iran, Iran, Iran" as the primary concern.

  • He emphasized Iran's aggressive expansion in the Middle East, portraying it as a significant danger to Israel's security.

  • Netanyahu's opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was later scrapped by the Trump administration, was well-known.

Iran's Direct Attack on Israel:

  • Despite Netanyahu's strong stance against Iran, a significant event occurred during his tenure: Iran launched a substantial drone and missile attack on Israel on April 14.

  • This attack marked the first direct assault on Israel by a state actor in over three decades.

  • It breached a red line for Israel, undermining its deterrence capabilities.

Response and Limitations:

  • Israel's response to the Iranian attack was criticized as feeble, even by its own officials.

  • The United States intervened to prevent further escalation but refrained from participating in any Israeli retaliation against Iran.

  • This signaled a strategic reluctance by the U.S. to engage in a direct conflict with Iran, prioritizing other global concerns.

Biden Administration's Approach:

  • Following Hamas's attack on Israel in October 7, 2024, the Biden administration focused on preventing the conflict from escalating into a regional war.

  • While supporting Israel's military actions in Gaza, Biden pursued diplomatic efforts to ease tensions between Israel and its neighbors.

  • However, the U.S. faced challenges in influencing Iran's actions, potentially leading to an Israel-Iran confrontation.

Shadow War Between Israel and Iran:

  • Israel has been engaged in a prolonged shadow war with Iran, targeting Iranian interests through airstrikes and covert operations.

  • Despite over 400 airstrikes in Syria alone, Iran's response had been relatively muted, allowing Israel to maintain its offensive posture.

  • Recent escalations, including the bombing of the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus, raised the risk of a direct conflict between Israel and Iran.

Netanyahu's Dilemma and Response:

  • The Iranian attack left Netanyahu in a strategic dilemma.

  • While favoring a forceful response against Iran, Netanyahu relied on U.S. support and leadership for any significant action.

  • Biden's stance of not participating in Israeli retaliation limited Netanyahu's options, leading to a symbolic strike with minimal impact.

Iran's Strategic Shift:

  • Iran's strategic patience in the shadow war with Israel shifted after the embassy bombing.

  • Iran sought to impose costs on Israel for its continued strikes on Iranian officials, capitalizing on perceived weaknesses in Israel's position.

  • Enhanced strategic ties with Russia and China, coupled with U.S. strategic distractions elsewhere, emboldened Iran to challenge Israel more openly.

Implications and Future Outlook:

  • Despite collective defense efforts, Iran's willingness to confront Israel openly suggests a shifting power dynamic in West Asia.

  • Israel's restrained response and international pressure indicate a weakening of its position, further emboldening Iran.

  • Recent events underscore Iran's willingness to challenge not only Israel but also its allies, altering the strategic landscape in the region.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Israel-Iran crisis UPSC NOTE
Israel-Iran crisis UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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