No This is Not WWIII

A lot of bluster in the fearmongering world of social media is portraying this situation with Iran to be the beginning of World War III.  This is false.  Iran has telegraphed it’s response from the beginning, launched its weakest weapons at Israel’s strongest defenses, and most importantly, declared the matter, “concluded.”

Even more interesting is the verbiage as it pertains to U.S. involvement, as Iran specifically states, the “U.S. MUST STAY AWAY.”  Despite what right-wing trolls might have us believe, this is a result of the unparalleled leadership and brilliance of President Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Not only did they deliver a message of resolve to Israel, they made sure that the world, and specifically, Iran, knew that we had nothing to do with it.  Which of course, we didn’t.  What is important to understand is that a telegraphed response was designed to save face.  In order to maintain credibility in the region, Iran felt it had to be seen as doing something.  This may well have been diplomatically negotiated.

Iran’s mission to the UN says on X that its drone and missile attack on Israel was conducted “on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defense” and in response to Israel’s April 1 attack on its embassy in Damascus, Syria.

With the attack, “The matter can be deemed concluded,” says Iran.

“However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY,” it added.

We must look at these words, as always with regards to foreign policy statements, from between the lines.  Iran is specifically stating that it wishes not to escalate beyond the requisite and punchless response it initiated.  It is not telling our country to stay out, it is signaling an unwillingness to escalate hostilities.

This of course, is a good thing, if your desired goal is not to start a global conflagration.  But looking forward, it is now clear  that the U.S. has to find an off-ramp in the near future to tamp down the violence between Israel and Palestine.  This could happen during the next election in Israel, if the voters choose to push out Netanyahu’s government, or it could come through a negotiated cease-fire, which is still possible.

But getting back to the escalation as a whole, the key word in Iran’s statement is, “mistake.”  Perhaps owing to diplomacy, or perhaps an indication that the assault on the Embassy in Syria was actually targeting error, it is good for those who wish for de-escalation that Iran uses the term “mistake” rather than “act of aggression” or war.  Clearly the statement taken in conjunction with the method of attack is solid evidence that serious diplomacy was involved here, and that the world is not sleeping on a polyester pillow in a room warmed by a Roman Candle.



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