Israeli Assassinates Another IRG Officer Reveals utter strategic failure of its Iran policy
Yesterday, Israeli agents (or MeK gunmen freelancing for them) assassinated the deputy director of the IRG’s Kuds Force, Sayad Hassan Khodai, in the heart of Tehran. Some are writing with ill-concealed glee that yet another “enemy of the Jewish people” has been eliminated from the world. But the truth is that the killing doesn’t advance any strategic goal. In fact, it is insane according to the common definition: repeating an action which has already failed, believing it will succeed if you keep trying). For example, a gambler who has lost all his winnings, but believes that one more bet will restore his losses.
Israel has already assassinated five top Iranian nuclear scientists including, most recently, the father of the nuclear program, Moshen Fakhrizadeh. It has assassinated Iranian commanders in Syria and Lebanon. It has sabotaged Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium. It has caused all manner of mischief. But it has not had any substantive impact on Iran’s nuclear ambitions (to the extent the latter has any). In fact, the opposite can be said: the more Israeli connives to inhibit Iranian operations and eliminate their leadership, the more committed Iran’s leaders are to pursuing them.
The brief against Khodai was that he led Iranian efforts to attack Israeli diplomats in India and Thailand back in 2012 and led Iranian efforts to kidnap other Israeli officials. He had been tasked by IRG supreme commander, Qassem Soleimani, and was a close confidant of his. Though two botched bombings a decade ago hardly seem justification to take him out now.
Iran named his official role as guardian of Shiite holy sites in Iraq and Syria. It’s difficult to know what this means in terms of his actual position. It’s possible that he was instrumental in shipping Iranian weapons via Syria to Hezbollah in Syria. Countering it is part of a long-term Israeli interdiction effort, and any role he might have played in this would definitely have drawn Israeli attention.
Why would Israel continue pursuing a tactic (assassination) which has utterly failed in its supposed effort to decapitate Iran’s nuclear program? Because it gives the Israeli public the impression that its intelligence-military apparatus is doing something, anything to dent the “Iranian threat” that’s been inculcated for decades. And because it sends a message to the Americans and Europeans who are pursuing a diametrically opposite approach: seeking a nuclear deal that will restrain, but not wholly eliminates the possibility of a nuclear Iran: Israel will go its own way and do everything possible to sabotage the diplomatic approach.
Shemuel Meir, a sharp analyst and critic of Israeli intelligence matters concerning Iran, also maintains (Hebrew) that Israel is preserving its “freedom to act” against its perceived enemies. Though Meir points out that this is a bogus notion, since Israel has only limited options when it comes to Iran. For example, it cannot attack Iran directly due to US veto. An Israeli military attack on Iran’s military targets would jeopardize Israel’s relations with its strongest ally. Not to mention embroiling the US in a major Middle East conflagration. Presumably, American officials have made this crystal clear to every Israeli leader over the past two or more decades.
Finally, these murders reveal the utter bankruptcy of Israel’s strategic thinking. It has no long-term plan for dealing with Iran. All of these attacks are gestures of defiance. Gestures are not a policy. They arouse Iranian ire. They increase Iranian resolve. But beyond that they serve no purpose. As I’ve written repeatedly here in the past, a tactic is not a strategy. The latter offers a vision. It says where you want to go, what you want to achieve. A tactic is a means toward a strategy. But without the latter it serves no useful purpose.
At one time, Israeli military-intelligence officials mouthed platitudes like “if we punish Iran enough, they will come to their senses and abandon the nuclear program.” We have not heard such nonsense in some time. No one, especially Israe, believes if it kills enough Iranians it will stop the country from pursuing its policies. Anyone who says that or worse, believes it, is a fool.
It’s possible that Israel’s actual intent is to do what an Israeli general once called “mowing the grass.” In other words, you can’t achieve your maximal objective, so you choose to degrade the enemy via small incremental attacks. It too is a defective approach because it doesn’t seriously degrade Iran’s offensive capabilities. It only slows Iran down for the time it takes for Khodai’s replacement to step into his office and take over his duties.
10 thoughts on “Israeli Assassinates Another IRG Officer – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“But the truth is that the killing doesn’t advance any strategic goal”
Sure it does.
It exposes deep rifts in the Iranian government, showing the world that within Iran, there are viable alternatives in to the hated mullahs.
It reminds Israel’s enemies that she will revenge attacks on Israel and on Jews the world over.
It normalizes Israel’s attacks on Iran, and in so doing, prepares the world for Israel’s certain and looming destruction of Iran’s nuclear arsenal.
Richard. You may not be aware, but Putin’s war on Ukraine has scared Europe to it’s core and has drawn the EU and Israel much closer.
The world has now woken up and sees that a nuclear armed Iran will give it license to invade her neighbors the same way as Russia has invaded Ukraine.
Russia and Iran must be stopped in their tracks.
@you are trouble:
You haven’t the faintest clue what the hell you’re talking about. These are hasbara talking points. Not serious analysis. You know nothing about Iran–rifts or otherwise. MeK murderers do not consttue a “rift” inside Iran. In fact, MeK is a creature of the Mossad as scores of media reports have confirmed. Training a killer to kill someone doesn’t count for anything.
Which is cool when Iran starts avenging attacks on it, its citizens and infrastructure. And please leave us Jews out of your insane calculations. You don’t speak for us, we don’t want your help or protection.
More utter bullshit. Iran hasn’t invaded a neighbor in 300 years. The only country Iran hates enough to attack is Israel. And that hate is motivated by Israeli aggression and chest-beating.
BTW, this is not a soccer game and you don’t act like a fan rooting for the home team. So no slogans, please. As for being stopped, it’s Israel that must be stopped. It is FAR more dangerous than Iran.
No links to the Jerusalem Post: we don’t shill for media shmattehs.
“[comment deleted: one comment per thread. I already warned you about this. Do it again and you’ll be moderated]
israel is not known to fully grasp the notion that killing a man does not kill an idea.
playing whack-a-mole is just another way of making work for idle hands, which we know are the hands of the devil.
next, israel just turned the 70’s logo on its head
who doesn’t remember the ‘MAKE LOVE NOT WAR’ of the 70’s
well now the IAI just came up with a new logo for the tech companies.
MAKE DRONES NOT PORN.
ok now you can all start moaning, laughing whatever, goes to show that Putin does not rule in the kingdom of idiocy
Why is a nuclear scientist, trying to develop a weapon that could kill millions of people, any less a target, than an IRGC colonel plotting to kill a handful of people?
@nowhere near Lord Byron: First, Iranian physicists are not “trying to develop a weapon that could kill millions.” The CIA verfied and even the IAEA accepts that Iran’s nuclear program ended in 2003. By your standard, all nuclear physicists working anywhere on any research that could have any applicability to building a nuclear weapon could be targeted for assassination.
Second, there are Israeli nuclear scientists who have actually built 200 nuclear weapons. By your logic, they should be targets for assassination. Unless Israeli scientists have a special designation/exemption in your perverted moral universe. That would make you a racist, Iranophobe, or hypocrite (probably all 3). And an IDF “colonel” should be no less a target (and will be).
Third, Iranian physicists and colonels are doing exactly what Israeli nuclear scientists and IDF officers are doing: protecting their country from aggressors. In fact, they are defending their country while Israel is attacking it. Iranians are far more justified in the actions they take than Israelis.
Thanks Richard. Continue with your thoughtful notes.
It is working pretty well.
No one expects a whole program to collapse b/c of one person, but many people and their expertise cannot be replaced easily. It takes time for others to fill their shoes and is putting the system into a shock.
He was not a clerk but a scientist.
This is a perfect example of the idiocy of the Hasbara crowd . First of all, he was NOT a scientist. He was deputy commander of the IRG. Second of all, yes a person can be replaced fairly easily. All nations and movements which are the target of Israeli assassination [aka war crimes] have built in redundancies in their personnel system. They must be, and are prepared to shift at a moment’s notice. IN fact, as I’ve noted here in the past, the person who replaces the victim murdered is often more capable and lethal than his predecessor. The notion that murder will degrade the enemy’s capabilities is dead wrong. Third, the Iranian system is resilient and no assassination is going to “put it in shock.” This is just more wishful thinking from the deluded Israeli perpetual war machine. Fourth, you know about as much about Iran as you know about astrophysics. Or even less.
And don’t you ever justify or praise murder here. Esp not the Israeli murder machine here.
IDF and others in same field ARE THE MOST MORAL ARMY IN THE WORLD.