Middle East after Rezvan Operations

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ali Montazeri

Naming the release of the Lebanese Hizbollah prisoners, including Samir al-Qantar after “Rezvan Operations” is undoubtedly a meaningful and profound choice by the Lebanese Islamic Resistance. Two years ago on these days, Haj Emad Mughniyeh (Haj Rezvan) by militarily leading the 33-day war in Lebanon left a deep scar on the face of Israel so that the Israelis have been unable so far to find a suitable cure for it. After two years, another trend has been shaped in Lebanon under the name of “Haj Rezvan” so that -- as admitted by the Israelis -- the Hizbollah managed to hurt Tel Aviv in a number of new fronts:

  • The Hizbollah could secure the release of four prisoners of the 33-day “Tamuz war” as well as the myth of the Lebanese POWs “Sami al-Qantar” and received the bodies of 197 Lebanese and non-Lebanese martyrs from Israel in return for the bodies of just two Israeli soldiers.
  • Hizbollah is now in the peak of its political strength in Lebanon but the Israeli government is still coping with the aftershocks of its defeat in the 33-day war.
  • Militarily too, the Hizbolah is in the peak of power and has quickly overcame its weak points and filled the gap caused by the 33-day war. But the Israeli army has not been able to fix the crack caused by the military balance in the 33-day war in the north of the occupied territories.
  • Despite the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which was regarded by the Americans and Israelis as a basis for creating a new balance of force in South Lebanon, the Lebanese Hizbollah is still enjoying a superior strategy in the south and north of the Litani River in South Lebanon. It is also still capable of hitting the north of the occupied Palestinian lands as well as newer targets deep inside Israel. But the Israeli army has not been able to create an acceptable security umbrella in these regions to protect Jewish settlers and settlements.
  • The Lebanese Hizbollah is celebrating its consecutive victories but Israel is disappointedly and silently watching the developments in Lebanon.
  • The Lebanese Hizbollah maintains a strategic look at the internal developments of the country and by formulating the common defense strategy dialogue demands the liberation of the occupied regions in Shebaa farms, Kafarshuba and Ghajar. But Israel is already looking for a “non-disgraceful” way to withdraw from these regions.
  • After the lapse of two years since the 33-day war with the ultimate aim to isolate the Hizbollah inside Lebanon, we see that Hizbollah remains the stable and indisputable element in Lebanon. But the Lebanese elements trusted by Israel have been sidelines to a long-term political isolation.

Thanks to the Hizbollah’s smart handling of the indirect talks with Israel through German mediation, the situation had become so complicated for the Israelis and even the German mediator that the Israelis had no clue whether their two soldiers were alive or not!  

And this all happened under conditions that on the Naqura border within the Palestinian occupied lands, just a thin strip away, the Israeli military and security officials could see the hoisted pictures of “Haj Rezvan” under whose name and spiritual presence one of the greatest POW exchanges in the Arab-Israel history was taking place which was definitely in the interest of the Lebanese side.

All these developments were taking shape in the Middle East under conditions that some experts voiced special pessimism over the trend towards tranquility. In the opinion of these experts, the US in order to wage a possible war against Iran by persuading Israel, intended to quell all the points where Iran could provide regional responses. Based on this theory, Lebanon, within a national unity government, should have quickly turned into a domestic law orientation and the Islamic Resistance Movement within the Hizbollah be forced to continue course within Lebanon’s internal legal events so that in case of a war between Iran and America, it would be banned from forging any strategic alliance with Tehran and taking action against Israel from within Lebanon. According to this view, the assumption could also have happened in case of a possible war between Iran and Israel. Perhaps, these experts evaluate the speed at which the indirect talks between Israel and Hizbollah were held from this very angle.

On the other hand, the progress of the indirect talks between Israel and Syria under Turkish mediation too is appraised on this basis and with special pessimism. It is said the outcome – even though limited – of the Israel-Syria talks would make Damascus not to take any action against the US and Israel in case of any war with Iran.

The lifting of the economic siege of Gaza and resumption of pseudo-natural life in this part of the occupied Palestine too falls into this category so that under the new conditions in Gaza, Hamas would have no chance of action in case of a possible military confrontation between Iran and the US.

A similar outlook applies to Iraq and the disarming of al-Mahdi army. The idea is should a military clash occur between Iran and the US and despite the fact that the policies of al-Mahdi army are not in tune with those of Iran, the movement would not take advantage of possible gaps in case of a possible confrontation between Iran and the US against American forces in Iraq to disturb Washington’s military balance in Iraq.

Even if we assume such hypotheses were true, the question is whether the US would be able to reap the benefits of a swift war against Iran and contain its regional repercussions? The answer to this question is definitely negative.

In a U-turn by the Elysee Palace, the Syrian President Bashar Assad is invited to attend French national day celebrations in an attempt to keep Syria away from Iran. Paris tried to steer a more friendly climate between Israel and Syria concurrently with the indirect talks between Damascus and Tel Aviv. However, the Syrian president carried three transparent and meaningful messages for his French host:

1.    No one has the right to demand rupture of Tehran-Damascus relations and that Iran-Syria ties would never be harmed;

2.    Possible peace with Israel under unconventional optimism would not materialize earlier than 6-24 months. In other words, this peace would never occur under presidency of George Bush.

3.    Any war against Iran would directly involve Israel.

When the late Syrian president Hafez Assad entered the Madrid peace talks in 1991, he adopted a similar stance and for the same reason no peace deal was forged between Syria and Israel during his lifetime. These stances taken by Syria make more sense because the Damascus leader is well aware that if a war breaks out against Iran, the second and third targets would be Syria and the Lebanese Islamic Resistance. It is obvious that by overlooking the stance of Europe, the US-Israeli coalition would wage a destructive war against Syria with the historical aim of “changing the military balance in favor of Israel.”

On the other hand, the US which failed in its latest joint security operation with Israel against the Islamic Resistance in south Beirut before the start of the Doha talks, is well aware that the Lebanese national resistance is an inseparable part of the Islamic resistance in the region and an ally of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. It also knows that from a jurisprudential point of view and beyond all the military alliances, the Islamic resistance follows the Shia source of emulation in the Islamic world. Therefore, the horizon of the US outlook in case of a real war against Iran would undoubtedly be thwarted. This very jurisprudential outlook has been spread in Iraq and many other regions. Now the question is whether US speculations on preventing a regional war under relative political calm in the Middle east – except for Iran – would bear fruit or not?

This is all happening under conditions that the Lebanese Islamic Resistance over the past couple of years, has been turned into a prominent symbol of military-political leadership in the entire Arab world: a symbol which by relying on wisdom and intelligence in the course of “Rezvan Operations” once again dictated its superiority to the other party.

Consequently, US stratagems to prevent a regional war in case of a military confrontation with Iran, are already tested and defeated. That is why, there is no doubt any war, even for a short term, would engulf the entire Middle East and the US would unwillingly bring his troops under siege by others.

Therefore, it would be best for the US to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the 5+1 talks with Iran and by relying on dialogue and respect for the views of its other allies, instead of causing fire in the Middle East, opt for a trend of tranquility in its foreign policy.


طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم