Brief history of iran israel relationship

Iran–Israel relations - Wikipedia

brief history of iran israel relationship

Oct 11, Origins. After the Israeli War of Independence, Iraq cracked down on its For Israel, the burgeoning relationship was a clear success story for. May 11, FRANCE 24 traces the tumultuous relations between the two in a long history of hostility between Iranians and Israelis, both isolated in a. Aug 29, For many younger Americans, it may be hard to believe that Israel and Iran haven 't always been at each other's throats. Parallel strategic.

Through political Islam, however, the revolutionaries hoped to bridge the Iranian-Arab divide and establish a normative framework that included, rather than excluded Iran from the peoples of the region; but Islamic unity and an Islamic order hardly suited the existing regimes in the region, particularly the Arab kingdoms.

Rather than restructuring the political order of the region, Iran found itself increasingly isolated. As a result, in spite of its anti-Israeli ideology and rhetoric, geo-strategic forces compelled Iran to avoid any direct confrontation with Tel Aviv. At the second level, it should involve the Arab states neighboring Israel, and only at the third level should it involve Iran.

Consequently, Iran should never be a front-line state against Israel Interview, former Iranian official, Tehran, August, Khomeini prevented this potentially disastrous operation by declaring that the road to Qods i. The extent of these dealings came to light through the Iran-Contra Affair q. It was difficult for people to accept the fact that all of this intimacy was thrown out of the window. Iran continued to be viewed as a non-threat due to its lack of offensive capabilities.

The outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War q. Two days later, Deputy Defense Minister Zippori announced that Israel would provide military aid to Iran if it changed its hostile approach to the Jewish state Associated Press, 28 September Though Israel initially supported Iran, it came to appreciate the way the war absorbed Arab resources and prevented the Arabs from focusing on the Palestinian issue. It was not untilwhen Iraqi prospects for victory had grown substantially that Tel Aviv concluded that a continuation of the war would be too risky and viewed a stalemate as the best possible outcome.

Although Iraq did not win the war, by the time of its conclusion, Baghdad emerged as the most potent military power in the region, save Israel. This underlined the endurance of the geo-strategic forces bringing Israel and Iran together.

Thus, Khomeini preferred a cold peace with Israel, in which it opposed the Jewish state at the rhetorical level without translating that rhetoric into operational policy. Albeit not a whim, the geo-political forces that provided a basis for the Iranian-Israeli cold peace only endured for three more years after the end of the war.

Bythe geo-strategic map of the Middle East was significantly transformed by two critical events, namely, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the demolition of the Iraqi army in the Persian Gulf War. Indeed, the real turning point in Israeli-Iranian relations was not inbut insince the end of the Cold War also ended the Iranian-Israeli cold peace.

The distribution of relative power shifted towards Iran and Israel and formed a nascent bipolar structure in the region. Without Iraq balancing Iran, Tehran would become a threat, so argued Israeli hawks.

This initiated a Iranian and Israeli redefinition of their respective roles and positions in the emerging Middle Eastern order under the hegemony of the United States. Since the United States was seeking to establish an order based, not on a realist assessment of the power distribution in the region, but on its own ideological disposition and bilateral relations with individual states, powerful countries like Iran and Iraq with justified role aspirations could be the biggest losers in the new Middle East order, due to their tense relations with Washington.

Iran expected to be rewarded by the Unites States for its tacit support and be granted what it believed to be its rightful role in the formation of the new Middle East order. Israel, on the other hand, had its continued alliance with the United States to thank for its avoidance of complete isolation.

Now, it feared that the United States reorientation towards the Arabs and a possible U. By the time the Labor Party swept the June elections, the need for bold action was evident. This strategy reflected the new geo-strategic realities. By befriending the under-developed Arab states, Israel could become the economic engine of the Middle East, the producer for the million consumers in the Arab countries.

Israel could become the dominant economic power in the Middle East in addition to its military domination, which would help regain its strategic importance in Washington.

And the new glue was radical Islam. And Iran was radical Islam. The view of Iran as an unredeemable terrorist state became an integral part of Israeli political rhetoric to the extent that that any act of terrorism anywhere in the world was automatically blamed on Iran White and Logan, eds.

Shimon Peres followed the same line and even made open threats directed at Iran, stressing that Israel could take action against Iran Menashri, p. The first indication that Washington was not inclined to include Iran in future regional decision making was President George H.

Bush argued that Saddam was needed to balance Iran Interview, Wilkerson.

Throwback Thursday: Iran, Israel, and the U.S. in 1979

The other watershed event was the United Stated did not invite Iran to the multilateral talks at the Madrid conference in October These two events had a profound impact on Iranian decision makers, who concluded that Washington would not include Iran in the formation of the new Middle East order unless the exclusion of Iran makes the execution of its policies too costly.

Iran, which in the early s reduced its financial support to Hezbollah and lacked strong ties and presence in the Palestinian territories, started to reach out and develop relations with rejectionist Palestinian groups after the Madrid conference. Tehran began translating its anti-Israeli ideology into operational policy in order to undermine the American-Israeli push for the new Israel-centric Middle East by attacking its weakest link, the peace process.

Iran-Israel Relations: A Brief History of Trouble Between Nations |

As the Likud government put an effective freeze on the peace process, it also initiated a re-examination of its relations with Iran. Through these conciliatory measures, Netanyahu sought to avoid any unnecessary provocation against Iran that could lead to similar attacks with unpredictable political consequences.

Netanyahu and the Likud Party were ideologically opposed to the Oslo process and did not conceal their mistrust of the Palestinians. Accordingly, the Likud strategists needed to keep the Iran option alive. Moreover, Israel wanted to avoid a scenario in which Iran and the United States would resume diplomatic ties while Iranian-Israeli relations were still hostile, since improved relations between them under such circumstances could come at the expense of Israel IDF Radio, 10 November From the Iranian perspective, Likud was preferred over Labor for this very reason: Furthermore, Israeli intelligence reports indicated that Iran was swiftly moving towards a nuclear weapons capability.

The more Iran became politically integrated into the region through improved relations with the outside world, the less of a strategic threat it perceived the peace process to be.

A high-level channel was set up in which Washington and Tehran coordinated their policies in Afghanistan in order to establish a stable and representative government in Kabul. Iran also played a critical role in the reconstruction efforts after the Iraq war and instructed its proxy groups in Iraq to cooperate with the US forces.

Israel-Iran Relations: A Brief History of Trouble Between Nations

Instead, President George W. This strengthened the hands of those in the Iranian leadership who maintained that the United States was not interested in anything less than weakening Iran and replacing its regime.

No Iranian policy change could accommodate the Bush administration. As a result, they argued, Iran should return to investing in the discontented Arab streets and Muslim masses, just as it did in the early s.

Radicalzation of Iranian government. Muslim masses were increasingly anti-American and opposed to their own pro-American regimes.

brief history of iran israel relationship

Accordingly, strategists on the Iranian side contended that investing politically in the possibility of friendly relationship with the United States and in the Arab governments could not be a successful long-term strategy for Iran.

Yet, for Iran to escalate tensions with Israel and intensify its rhetorical excesses at a time when it is facing increased pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv shows continuity rather than discontinuity in the behavior of Iranian government. Much like what Ayatollah Khomeini did in the early s, Tehran is using the guise of its ideology to fight its real-political battles in order to conceal its true interests and the geo-strategic nature of its conflict with Israel.

Currently, this rivalry, set in motion by the dramatic redistribution of power in the region following the Persian Gulf War and the ensuing efforts to establish a new regional order, is still in effect and has hampered the attainment of the United States foreign policy objectives in the Middle East. Both Iran and Israel have proven to be effective spoilers, yet inadequate builders of a new order.

Mindful of the decline in Arab power, those nostalgic about the strong Israeli-Iranian relationship during the Pahlavi era will have a daunting task rebuilding those ties since the bedrock of that entente is lacking in the current geopolitical environment, to wit the existence of common threats to Iran and Israel and a well-entrenched regional order. The struggle between Iran and Israel has primarily been manifested in confrontations through proxies, of which the Lebanese Hezbollah has been the most potent and dangerous one.

Though it is often believed that Iran helped form Hezbollah to target Israel, Iranian calculations regarding Hezbollah had far more to do with spreading the Iranian revolution than countering the Jewish state. In fact, Israel inadvertently handed Iran its only success in exporting its revolution in the Arab world by invading Lebanon.

Close to 20, Lebanese were killed in the invasion and anotherwere displaced. In Septemberunder direction of Defense Minister Sharon, a Lebanese Christian militia unit entered the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut, and, with tacit Israeli approval, raped, killed, and maimed as many as several thousand civilian refugees.

Tehran badly needed progress in exporting its revolution. Now, thanks to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Iran was given the opportunity to plant the seeds of Islamic revolution in the Levant. The Israeli-Iranian proxy war through Hezbollah culminated during the summer war ofwhich signified a new and heightened phase in this conflict.

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The Summer War of These developments significantly increased Israeli fears that American inaction against Iran may leave Israel alone in facing a strong, nuclear Iran riding on a wave of anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments in the region at a time when Israel still appeared incapable of easing regional tensions by improving relationships with its immediate Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians.

The summer war between Israel and Lebanon took place against this backdrop. The summer war was preceded by heavy Israeli bombardment of Gaza. By launching preemptive attacks on Hamas and the Hezbollah, Israel could significantly deprive Iran of its capabilities to retaliate against Israel in the event of an American assault on Iran.

In fact, Israel had been planning for war against Hezbollah for more than two years. Ina senior Israeli army officer began giving off-the-record Power-Point presentations to American diplomats, journalists, and think tanks, setting out in great detail the plan for the expected operation.

brief history of iran israel relationship

Once Iran obtained a nuclear capability, however, this option would no longer be available to Israel. Moreover, in the absence of an American assault on Iran, such a strategic pushback against Iran would be beneficial to both Israel and the United States.

As it became increasingly likely that Israel would fail to debilitate Hezbollah quickly through its massive air campaign, Washington and London provided for it the political support and cover to continue the war, in spite of the international protests and calls for an immediate ceasefire.

Israel-Iran relations | The Times of Israel

Secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, referring to the fighting, remarked on 21 July two days before her official trip to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Olmert: Rather than facing an amateur militia, the Israelis soon realized that they were fighting a well-trained and well-equipped guerilla army.

Israeli intelligence had failed to discover in full before the war what Hezbollah had amassed in its arsenals. The Lebanese fought a high-tech war and paid as much attention to the media battle as they did to the fighting on the ground. Hezbollah fighters cracked the codes of Israeli radio communications, intercepting reports on the casualties they had inflicted. Whenever an Israeli soldier was killed, Hezbollah confirmed it by listening to the Israeli radio and then sent the reports immediately to its satellite TV station, Al-Manar, which broadcast the news live.

The psychological impact of this on the Israelis, who had grown accustomed to superiority over the armies of their Arab neighbors, was devastating. With Washington unwilling to recognize Iran as a regional powerhouse with legitimate security interests, with Israel insisting on maintaining military disparity with its neighbors while clinging on to its arsenal of nuclear warheads, and with Iran openly professing the military exodus of the United States from the region, open war may be avoided, but peace will remain elusive.

A sustainable peace in the Middle East can only be achieved if it be coupled with a sustainable security order. Such an order must, by definition, be all-inclusive and reflect the reining geopolitical balance.

The order that the United States pursued in the s under the policy of Dual Containment, was based on the exclusion of two of the strongest powers in the region, namely Iran and Iraq. The order it seeks today is equally disconnected from regional realities. Moderate elements in Israel recognize that the security of Israel is no longer served by this balance of power paradigm, because Israel cannot indefinitely balance its more populous neighbors, particularly as they, as in the case of Iran, begin to master nuclear technology.

A detente policy with Iran would have far-reaching implications for the chances for peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Impact and Implications, New York, Houchang Chehabi, Distant Relations: Shireen Hunter, Iran and the World: Continuity in A Revolutionary Decade, Bloomington, Iran, however, vehemently denies the Israeli version of events, saying Israel's attacks were carried out under false "pretexts".

The escalation of what had been a low-level conflict between the two countries in Syria is just the latest confrontation in a long history of hostility between Iranians and Israelis, both isolated in a predominantly Sunni Arab region.

brief history of iran israel relationship

Before the Shiite clergy came to power, the two countries enjoyed cordial relations. Iran was the second Muslim country to recognise Israel ina year after Turkey. Tehran and Tel Aviv were linked by an informal partnership, based on close cooperation on military, technological, agricultural and petroleum issues.

When the Shah was ousted, the tone of bilateral Iranian-Israeli relations dramatically changed.

brief history of iran israel relationship

In his very first speeches, Khomeini, the supreme leader of the Islamic revolution, singled out the two main enemies of Iran: Anxious to extend the influence of the Islamic revolution in the Muslim world and to legitimise the power of the clerics, the Iranian leader, an author of many anti-Zionist works, positioned his nation as a defender of the Palestinian cause and Israel's primary enemy.

Israel, Khomeini stressed, was a country he wanted to see "disappeared" in order to "liberate Jerusalem". He was greeted by crowds shouting "death to Israel". InKhomeini ordered the creation of an Islamist militia, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, an Arab country with a large Shiite community.

Iran and Israel: A history of the world’s best enmity

Despite Iran's anti-US, anti-Israeli rhetoric, the Ronald Reagan administration secretly authorised arms sales to Iran, via Israel, to help fund the right-wing Contras in Nicaragua while simultaneously negotiating the release of several US hostages being held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian militias.

At that time, Israel viewed the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq as a more immediate threat. Israel is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but since the Jewish state -- along with India and Pakistan — is not a signatory to the Nonproliferation Treaty NPTIsrael is not subject to inspections.

brief history of iran israel relationship