There’s a war raging in the Middle East. There’s Syria, Iraq (as usual), and now Israel and Gaza have joined the fray in yet another conflagration. Seemingly, this latest escalation is about Hamas firing rockets at Israel, and Israel bombing Gaza to protect its security, and vice versa.
But the fact of the matter is, the escalation is also about Iran. With nuclear negotiators in Vienna racing to make the July 20 deadline for a deal it’s almost easy to forget that Iran has “a penchant for proliferation.”
Except its supply of rockets to Hamas, now being used against Israel, serves as a stark reminder. A slew of articles and op-eds this week pointed out the fact that while Washington has negotiated with a seemingly-friendlier Tehran, it has had “a hand in three conflicts,” as in the words of Time magazine’s Michael Crowley, whose analysis on how Israel is actually fighting Iran in Gaza was also cited by the Bulgarian Standart newspaper. Over at The Washington Post, columnist Jennifer Rubin lambasted the US for trusting with nuclear capabilities an Iran that supports terrorist outfits while claiming to be moderate.
Meanwhile, four months after it was discovered, the Klos-C weapons shipment intercepted by Israel – and found by the UN to have originated in Iran – has been brought up in the international press as rockets shoot out of Gaza by the dozens. A piece in The Wall Street Journal titled “Iran’s Hand in Gaza” makes mention of the shipment in relation to Iran’s role in “the latest spasm of violence.” And finally, amid talk of yet another ceasefire being mediated between Israel and Hamas, in a report cited by The Tower, we are reminded that Iran has used previous ceasefires to re-arm Hamas.
In a nutshell: while Iran negotiates with Western powers to halt nuclear proliferation, the traces of its own proliferation can be seen in Assad’s war-torn Syria, in destabilized Iraq and in the rocket arsenal in Gaza.