What are Tehran’s Interests Regarding the Karish Maritime Border Dispute?

Israel withdrew from Lebanon in the year 2000 but Tehran was not satisfied and so Iran/Hezbollah instructed the Lebanese government to manufacture the Sheba farm (Har Dov) fictitious border claims on lands in the northern Golan heights. Iran/Hezbollah did it again in 2022 when it instructed the Lebanese government to expand Lebanon’s claims for territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone at the expense of Israeli waters. Why did Iran do this? Because they want to perpetuate the conflict with Israel and because they want a permanent casus belli according to Jafari Jurisprudence (which prohibits offensive war) to initiate war against Israel whenever they want to do so. Thus it can be assumed with strong confidence that the US-mediated indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel will lead absolutely nowhere. What is however somewhat peculiar and indeed perplexing are Hassan Nasrallah’s recent threats to attack Israel. Iran wrongly believes that the Hezbollah-led Iranian axis is able to destroy Israel with chemical weapons, rockets, missiles and drones, yet Tehran is reluctant to pull the trigger and apparently so for fear of Israeli nuclear retribution. What then can explain the recent brouhaha about the supposed “return” to the JCPOA as combined with Nasrallah’s threats of war against Israel? This is simply psychological warfare to confuse and undermine the enemy and it is quite successful. This is very effective as the Israelis and the Americans react as expected to every Iranian manipulation. What Jerusalem and Washington apparently do not understand is that Tehran is interested in keeping conflicts alive and pretending to negotiate in order to undermine an adversary’s will to power is a useful tactic in that context.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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