Will Israel attack Iran? Iranian experts says that's very unlikely to happen

Will Israel attack Iran? Iranian experts says that's very unlikely to happen
The war between Iran and Israel is considered unlikely by Iranian experts because of its high costs, regional consequences, hostage concerns, and Israel’s limited strategic depth.
3 min read
11 October, 2023
Iranians attend a gathering in Tehran to express their solidarity with Palestine after Hamas militants launched a deadly air, land and sea assault into Israel from the Gaza Strip on 7 October 2023, in Tehran, Iran. [Getty]

Despite specific warnings of a potential war with Iran and recent threats of a nuclear attack on Tehran by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian foreign policy experts and former diplomats believe that a military confrontation between the Middle Eastern arch-enemies is unlikely.

The speculations about such a war escalated after the surprise attack by Hamas on 7 October, which occurred outside the besieged Gaza Strip in territories controlled by Israel.

However, Iranian experts suggest that a war with Iran would be both costly and improbable for Israel, primarily due to the shock they experienced following Hamas's operation within Israel.

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Yadollah Karimipour, an Iranian foreign policy expert, believes that such a war would immediately set the entire region ablaze. This outcome would be in the interest of no world power except perhaps Russia.

Karimipour stated in a Telegram post, "If an all-out war against Iran were to begin, the probability of it spreading to all countries bordering the Persian Gulf is 99 per cent. This would lead to a general war in the Middle East, a scenario that no one but Russia supports."

This analyst also added that a war between Israel and Iran would be the perfect opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to disrupt Western military support for Ukraine.

In another Telegram post, Karimipour emphasised that NATO would also reject Israel's military attack on Iran. He stated, "NATO's strategy is to confine Israel's war geographically and allow them to unleash maximum violence against Gaza."

Meanwhile, Nosratollah Tajik, Iran's former ambassador to Jordan, asserted that Israel would not open a new front in this war until a solution is found for the release of over 150 soldiers and civilians taken hostage during the Hamas attack.

Tajik explained, "Currently, Israel does not have the upper hand against Hamas, and I believe they would prioritise resolving the hostage situation. This is vital for Israel because it impacts their national unity and encourages Jewish people to remain in the occupied territories."

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Another reason discouraging Israel from attacking Iran, as noted by analysts, is Israel's limited strategic depth compared to Iran's vast geographical territory.

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a pro-reformist analyst, highlighted this factor and drew a comparison between the populations of the two countries.

Shamsolvaezin said in an interview with the Farsi section of Euro News, "I would be surprised to see Israel attacking a country that is 100 times larger in territory and has a population of 85 million."

"After the long Iran-Iraq war, which Saddam [Hussein] had hoped to win in a week but was entangled in for eight years, I believe no country would dare to enter into an all-out war with Iran for the next two hundred years," he concluded.