All the roads of the “war of seven fronts”, as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant baptized it, lead to Iran. The terrorist massacre by Hamas on October 7 on Israeli soil opened the curtain on the dress rehearsal of a total interposition war directed from Tehran. Although slowly brewing, the war that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been conducting for more than a hundred days in the Gaza Strip has simultaneously activated a whole host of “proxy” forces financed and trained by Iran and distributed throughout Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Gaza itself against the interests of Israel, the United States and their allies.
They are the pawns of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the power of Shiite Islam – a minority in the region –, at the service of its desire to increase power and influence in the Arab world. Beyond the religious issue, because the autocracy born of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 is behind both Palestinian Sunni groups such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad as well as Shiites, they are all united by the glue of hatred of the West and its values and the desire for nothing. disguised attempt to eliminate the State of Israel, the axis of the ayatollah regime’s propaganda towards its internal parish and the public opinions of the Islamic world.
At the head of all these armed forces is the Lebanese Hezbollah, the oldest and most powerful of the militias. –also a political party that is a key and decisive factor in the political life of the small Levantine State– supported by Iran. The organization led by Hasan Nasrallah, which boasts to the Islamic world of having been the only force capable of subduing Israel in 2006, was the first to directly attack “the Zionist entity” when the IDF began its anti-terrorist offensive in Gaza on the 8th. October. Since then the attacks – and the responses of the Israeli forces – have not ceased on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese border.
But the biggest concern right now comes from the Red Sea. The Houthis, an insurgent group that has been fighting since 2014 to gain complete control of Yemen –Tehran’s support has made it possible to successfully resist the international military intervention commanded by Saudi Arabia– They have joined the war in solidarity with Hamas in their own way: attacking Israeli commercial ships – or linked to this country – that transit through the Red Sea, one of the main global arteries. The bombings by the militia supported by Tehran have already caused serious disruptions. in international maritime trade.
Iran also supports Sunni Islamist groups in Gaza and the West Bank such as Hamas, author of the October 7 massacre and in total political control of the Strip since 2006, and Islamic Jihad. Iran’s influence in Syria does not end with the puppet regime of Bashar al-Assad –The dictator’s clan belongs to the Alawite Islamic sect, a branch related to Shiism–, since Tehran supports various groups such as the Afghan Shiites of the Fatemiyoun Brigade. In the same way, the tentacles of the Islamic regime are present in Iraq through various armed organizations such as Kataib Hezbollah, Asaib Ahl al Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba or the Badr Brigades. In Bahrain, the only country with a Shiite majority like Iran although governed by a Sunni monarchy, the regime exercises its influence through the Al Ashtar Brigades.
Specialists agree that, despite the bellicose rhetoric and permanent threats, the ayatollah regime, strongly contested in recent years by a young society increasingly less willing to suffer the rigors of an autocratic and despotic regime, has no no appetite to directly confront the Army of its Israeli nemesis and its allies, aware of their inferiority. The asymmetric and invisible war strategy through interposed militias It is the strategy that the regime has been preparing for years.
Although the authorities insist on disassociating themselves from organizations that they consider autonomous and sovereign, the truth is that there is no Intelligence agency or specialist that doubts that both the individual strategy, much more the collective coordination, of the aforementioned organizations has to first have the approval of Tehran. In case there were any doubts, this week from Davos the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hosein Amir Abdolahian, assured that “all fronts would remain open” if Israel did not end its anti-terrorist offensive in Gaza.
But the challenging open war from Yemen to Lebanon via Iraq and Syria can carry serious risks for the regime. Although neither Israel nor the US are interested in a direct war with Iran, Israel’s relentless response in Gaza and Lebanon demonstrates that it will not sit idly by, as does the US and UK bombing of Iran. Pro-Iran insurgents in Yemen send the same strong message to Tehran.
In addition to “proxy” wars, Iran fights other battles against opposition groups and the Sunni jihadist insurgency led by the Islamic State. The bombings carried out directly by Iranian forces against Sunni Islamist organizations in recent days on Iraqi, Syrian and Pakistani soil threaten to deteriorate the Islamic Republic’s relations with its neighbors.