Iran not using Hezbollah to respond to Syria strike out of fear of proxy ‘destruction’ | EXPRESS UK

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Iran not using Hezbollah to respond to Syria strike out of fear of proxy ‘destruction’ | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.


EXCLUSIVE: Iran vowed to avenge the death of two of its leading military commanders after a deadly strike on its consulate compound in Damascus.

Iran is pressuring its main proxy in the Middle East not to target Israel in retaliation to a recent strike on Iranian officials because it could lead to the group’s destruction, a former Israeli intelligence operative claimed.

Tehran said it would retaliate after the head of its Quds force, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, was killed alongside five other diplomats in an air raid against the Iranian consulate compound in Damascus, Syria.

The Islamic Republic accused Israel of conducting the strike and ultraconservative politicians across Iran have demanded an immediate retaliatory attack on Israeli infrastructure.

But Avi Melamed told the Daily Express that the regime will likely hold off on hitting back – and will ensure Hezbollah is not involved in a direct conflict with Israel to ensure its top proxy remains a viable asset.

Melamed noted the Iran-backed organisation did not immediately respond to the Syria strike as expected, suggesting Tehran is aware an attack would escalate tension and potentially lead to the “destruction” of Hezbollah.

He said: “Hezbollah’s lack of response to the airstrike is also significant but showcases the direct power that Iran has over its proxy in its hope not to risk its largest proxy force in the region by committing it to a war that will only see its destruction, whether through an Israeli response or a Lebanese response to protect the country from an Israeli counter-offensive.

“While Iran and Hezbollah have not yet shown what their next play is, it’s important to note that the regime sees this war as a marathon, not a sprint.

“It will play the slow game waiting on the right target to present itself either in Israel or the Jewish diaspora, not dissimilar to its 1980 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires.”

Melamed also warned the strike highlighted concerns in Tehran about Israeli access to its intelligence, noting the airstrike that targeted Zahedi was extremely precise.

He added: “The intelligence, the precision of the attack, and the timing are significantly important because they sow added tensions and suspicion within the Iranian ranks, proving that Israel has unfettered access to Iran’s actions in Syria.

“[It] will likely force a restructuring of both the Iranian strategy and its compartmentalizing of intelligence and logistics”

Iran provides money and weapons to Hezbollah, as well as Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fighting Israel in Gaza.

Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border have increased since the war in Gaza began nearly six months ago.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, a key decision-making body, met late on Monday and decided on a “required” response to the strike, Iran’s state television reported.

It said the meeting was chaired by President Ebrahim Raisi but provided no further details.


Iran not using Hezbollah to respond to Syria strike out of fear of proxy ‘destruction’ | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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