Tensions have been mounting between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran for decades already, and in recent years many felt open war could erupt at any moment.
According to Iran, that war is already here.
“The war with Israel has already begun,” an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said at the weekend. “Israel has murdered nuclear scientists and harmed the Iranian people.”
The spokesman was most likely referring to recent confirmation that Israel was behind the November 2020 assassination of chief Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Israel is also believed to have killed a number of other Iranian scientists in recent years, as well as carried out acts of sabotage against Iranian nuclear facilities.
And then there are of course the repeated Israeli airstrikes against Iranian military targets in Syria. Iran was thus far refrained from any serious direct military response, preferring instead to hit back at Israel via its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Where Iran has gotten more brazen is in targeting Israeli and Israel-linked shipping in the Persian Gulf.
The situation has been described as a “shadow war” between Israel and Iran, but the government spokesman is correct, it has escalated to genuine war, even if it’s not being fought on a conventional battlefield.
Interestingly, many Iranians don’t want war with Israel, and some are even rooting for the Jewish state to beat their own Islamist overlords.
Late last year, for example, one brave Iranian hung an Israeli flag from an overpass in Tehran to thank the Mossad for assassinating Fakhrizadeh.
In August, Israel Today spoke to “Radio Ran,” a Jewish Iranian expatriate who told us that “the Iranian people are fed up. The regime is living on borrowed time. Iranians are every day expressing their love of Israel and asking for help from Jerusalem!” (See: Interview With Iran’s Most Wanted Zionist)
For more stories on this important topic, see:
- Iranians to Israel: “We Love You, and Know You Love Us”
- Iranian Dissidents Visit Israel, Speak to IDF Soldiers
- Special Report: Iranians Turning to Israel. Are We in the Last Days?