The Mediterranean Mirage

Hassan Nasrallah made a televised speech expressing cautious praise for the US proposal for a new border line between the exclusive economic zones of Israel and Lebanon in the Mediterranean sea. However, he notably did not explicitly accept the proposal. It is important to be cognizant that Lebanon or rather “Hezbollahstan” is an Iranian protectorate where Tehran through Nasrallah has the last word. It is quite understandable that Nasrallah does not want to be blamed for sabotaging the proposed agreement, yet that is undoubtedly what his Iranian masters have instructed him to do behind closed doors in Beirut simply because they want to keep the conflict alive. While Israeli intelligence has a keen understanding of Palestinian decision making processes and rejectionist priorities, something which in the 1990s allowed Israel to manipulate the rejectionist PLO into accepting semi-permanent autonomy, there appears to be little understanding of how Mahdism influences Iranian decision making processes and rejectionist priorities.There is simply no agreement on the horizon because Tehran does not want one as Iran wishes to perpetuate every excuse for Hezbollah commencing war. Rather, Iran has taken note that Israel’s gas rigs are a weak link in Israel’s defenses which Hezbollah is likely to be able to penetrate if they launch a sufficient number of precision guided missiles against the gas rigs despite being protected by maritime Iron dome batteries. Hezbollah appears to want war simply because Israel does not want one. If you want to understand how Iranian decision makers think you have to think like a Mahdist geostrategist; i.e. you have to put yourself into a mindset that is at the same time both hyper-rational and completely insane, meaning something akin to Nazi Germany. Most Iran specialists focus on the rational elements in Iranian decision making and appear to assume that Mahdism is simply rhetoric. This is completely mistaken, Mahdism is irrational but Iran mostly uses rational means to promote its Mahdist agenda.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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