The Killing of the Senior Iranian Official: Tehran’s Dilemma

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The killing of Razi Mousavi is extremely important. Congratulations to who did it – whoever it was – on the choice of a good, worthy target.

We should prepare for a response, for it will come. If this response comes from the northern arena, it will continue the dynamics of escalation vis-à-vis Hezbollah, which could become an all-out war in the northern arena.

Why is the elimination of Razi Mousavi significant?

  1. This is a blow to Iran, which until now stood on the sidelines and waged a multi-front proxy war against us without paying any price.
  2. Mousavi was a talented man of logistics. He personally managed the supply of advanced weapons to Hezbollah and the Shiite militias in Syria. In effect, he was the engine driving the intensified force buildup.

The Iranian response dilemma:

  1. Hezbollah activity is very close to the upper limit below the threshold of war. If the organization reacts in a way that crosses this threshold (shooting at the center of Israel, precision missiles), this could lead to a war with Israel. From Israel’s perspective, this will provide a good excuse to remove the threat from the northern communities, and with American backing. As far as Hezbollah and Iran are concerned, this is not worthwhile in the current situation.
  2. A response by the other proxies will be lost in the overall commotion. The Houthis, Iraqis, and Syrians are already operating, some of them quite aggressively. To them, another missile targeting a ship or another UAV at Israel will not be an adequate response.
  3. A reaction from Iran itself puts Iran at risk of an Israeli/American counter reaction. This jeopardizes Iran’s greatest achievement so far – the fact that while it is behind it all, it does not pay a price.
  4. The assassination of an Israeli official abroad is always possible – a symmetrical and proportionate action, from Iran’s point of view. Their problem is that this is difficult to achieve. Fortunately (and including with thanks to the Mossad), so far all such attempts have been thwarted. But that doesn’t guarantee anything in the future.

https://www.inss.org.il/social_media/the-killing-of-the-senior-iranian-official-tehrans-dilemma/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Israel%20at%20War%20|%20Insights%20by%20INSS%20researchers

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