Are the Iranians afraid of America and Israel

It is a shadow war with plenty of potential for escalation that Israel and Iran have been fighting for years. The Iranian nuclear facilities are at the center of numerous attacks attributed to Israel. But there is also fighting on other fronts - on the high seas as well as in dusty Syria. Israel rarely comments on this and relies on the terrifying power of ambiguity. But there is no doubt about his efficiency in this dispute. The only question is: At what price does Israel use needle-stick after needle-stick and a hammer blow in between?

The scene of the conflict has just returned to Natans, the Iranian uranium enrichment facility into which the Stuxnet computer virus was introduced in 2010 and where an explosion in 2020 tore up the centrifuges installed there. Now an externally caused disturbance in the power supply has been reported, for which Tehran blames "nuclear terrorism", that is, the Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad.

Iran still has a lot of outstanding accounts with Israel

In the logic of the conflict, Israel can send a message in two directions. On the one hand, a reminder is sent to Iran that considerable damage can be done to the nuclear program at any time. On the other hand, the leadership in the USA is warned that, despite all attempts at negotiating a new nuclear agreement, Israel has its own ideas and options for dealing with the Iranian threat. However, if you send out a double message, you run a double risk.

Obviously, there is a risk of Iranian retribution, especially since other recent accounts are still open - from the killing of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last November to dozens of attacks on Iranian freighters in the past two years, with which Israel reportedly failed tried to torpedo Iran's lucrative oil smuggling. Even if all Iranian oaths of revenge have so far been followed by rather limited actions, Israel should be armed against direct attacks, against Israeli targets anywhere in the world, or attempts by Iranian allies in Lebanon and Syria to hit the Jewish state.

Israel is only safe if it brings its concerns into a nuclear deal

Israel is also threatened with dangers with regard to its relationship with its closest ally, the US under President Joe Biden. The latest incident in Natans became known just as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made his first visit to Jerusalem. His visit can be seen as a sign that Washington wants to take Israeli security interests and concerns about a possible revision of the nuclear deal with Iran seriously. But before it could even be talked about, Austin was confronted with a fact that could even begin to sabotage the new negotiations.

Israel's fear of a nuclear Iran is certainly understandable, the threat would be existential. But on its own, Israel will not be able to avert the Iranian threat in the long term. Israel needs allies and diplomacy is needed to resolve the conflict. In the short term, it may serve Israel's security to paralyze centrifuges in Natans. In the long term, however, Israel will only be safe if it brings its concerns and needs to bear in a new nuclear deal with Iran.