Power balances in the Middle East after the Iranian-Israeli confrontations.

Strategic / Special Analysis: Geostrategic Studies Team
In absolute terms, if Iran were serious about launching a military strike on Israel (even within a limited scope), it would simply send a range of winged, ballistic, and cruise missiles that can reach deep into Israeli territory and beyond in moments, whether from inside Iran or from areas controlled by its allies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. However, choosing drones that require long hours to reach, crossing Iraqi, Jordanian, and Syrian territories, in addition to missiles that reached the Negev Desert, this naturally means legitimizing their interception by defenses and American aircraft, and the overall international coalition that dominates this entire region. Therefore, the goal was not to bomb Israel, but to deliver a message and demonstrate its influence as a regional power amidst developments directing accusations towards Iran of involving Hamas in Gaza and curbing its activities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
In reality, the operation highlighted Iran's audacity in directing military strikes at Israel, even if it ended in the unfortunate scenario that turned the region into a block of military confrontations and rampant chaos after six years of Israel bombing Iranian sites and facilities inside Syria without a real response. However, Israel's expansion of its strikes to include buildings of the embassy, considered part of Iranian territory in Damascus, represented a significant development and a real test in front of the Iranian regime that lost its prestige among its supporters and proxies in the Middle East, revealing the weakness of Iranian capabilities and the reality of limiting its role in front of regional and international players.
In the context of Iran giving immunity to its proxies in the Middle East by its ability to attack Israel, the Israeli response came within the framework of the level of operations as a whole.

Guardianship over Israel and Western guarantee

Israel has continued to receive support from Western powers led by the United States, as part of the duty of protection and actual guardianship. Over the past decades, Israel has formed a strategic depth for Western powers in the Middle East, which has been the focal point for wars in the region where Israel has consistently received support and protection. During the recent Iranian attacks, Western powers played a prominent role in preventing any drones and most missiles from reaching Israel. However, the outcome will depend on the relative success of the Iranian attack today. If Iran feels it has responded sufficiently to the Israeli attack on its facilities, the region may step back from the brink of a wider war. Nevertheless, if the Iranian attack succeeds excessively, Israel will retaliate. The inevitable response cycle will involve the United States, likely spreading throughout the region. Regardless of the relative success of the Iranian attack, there are no guarantees of avoiding another escalation cycle. Senior Pentagon officials have repeatedly stated their desire to withdraw American forces from the Middle East and recommit them to the Indo-Pacific region and Europe. Israel understands this dynamic and feels it must act while benefiting from the presence of strong American forces. Therefore, today's attack will not be the end.

Distracting the West from directing support to Ukraine

Russian influences are clear in what has happened, either directly or through instigating the Iranian regime to respond to Israel, with the aim of putting Western powers in a position to increase their presence in the Middle East and direct their capabilities to protect Israel instead of providing support to Ukraine, which is on the brink of a hot summer of confrontations with the Russians.

The Result

Israel will capitalize on Iranian threats to regain the favor of Western powers, and will continue its war in Gaza to eliminate the striking force of Hamas, as well as convincing the Arabs of Iran's involvement in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and reaching Yemen. There is an intersection of interests between the Arab Gulf and Egypt with Israel on these issues, especially the Yemen point, which poses a real dilemma for Saudi Arabia, as Israel has provided Western support to target the Houthi movement, of course for the benefit of Saudi Arabia, and also with signs of forming a joint Arab-Israeli-Western force against real Iranian threats, in exchange for restoring Iran's influence in the region in front of its arms and supporters, as well as maintaining the Sunni-Shiite balance and forming a continuous Shiite threat to Sunni Arab countries that need to address this threat by empowering their alliance with Western powers and Israel.

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