Assessments

For Israel, a New U.S. President Could Mean a Renewed Anti-Iran Push

Sep 29, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An illustration shows the flags of Israel and Iran painted on a cracked wall.
An illustration shows the flags of Israel and Iran painted on a cracked wall.
(icedmocha/Shutterstock.com)

A victory by U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden in November could prompt Israel to escalate its attacks against Iran in both current and new theaters across the Middle East in order to derail a potential U.S. return to diplomacy with Israel’s regional archnemesis. Before the U.S. election, Israel is unlikely to significantly alter its current strategy of recurrent, opportunistic strikes against Iranian forces in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, since Tehran’s nuclear program is not yet showing signs of the imminent development of a nuclear weapon. Increased attacks against Iran in the coming weeks would also risk jeopardizing the electoral prospects of Israel’s close U.S. ally, President Donald Trump, who is trying to use his reputation as a regional peace broker to bolster his chances of reelection in November. Moreover, Israel’s current “shadow war” with Iran, fought through proxy theaters and covertly within Iran itself, can continue to allow Israel to...

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