Wednesday, 12 August, 2020

Why does Iran and Israel have bad relationships

The Islamic Republic of Iran declared officially its non-recognition of Israel since the very beginning of its foundation, denying the legitimacy of the Israeli State. This article seeks to explain the foreign policy of Iran towards Israel through a survey of the relations between the two countries.

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the relations between Iran and Israel were immediately severed and the former embassy of Israel lay at the disposal of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Obviously, the Islamic Revolution, one of the major goals of which being its support of Muslims throughout the world, the Palestine cause lay on the top of its objectives and interests. The regional foreign policy of Iran at the start of the Islamic Revolution was a confrontational one, based on serious opposition manifested in slogans against Israel. The opposition of Iran to Israel was based on the ideological and humanitarian notion that the Zionist regime was a usurper government occupying the Palestinian land — an important part of the Muslim lands — causing displacement and innumerable sufferings to the Palestinians. This policy lay in the framework of national interests without any material consideration. In other words, the most significant factor in determining the confrontational foreign policy of Iran at this time was not national, material interests, nor international considerations. Rather, Iran regarded supporting the Palestinian cause and refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist regime, a religious as well as an humanitarian obligation.

Israel made all attempts to make Iran isolated in the regional and international arena. Some experts hold that the Zionists provoked the Iraqi invasion of Iran, and that Israel also staged other secret hostile acts against Iran at the time of war. The Foreign Policy of Israel towards Iran The concept of the ‘New Middle East’, suggested by Shimon Peres, was intended to expand Israel’s domination over the Middle East and encirclement of Iran. Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Israel’s new thrust is that it must put Iran into any isolation whatsoever, in order to guarantee its own security. Signing the Oslo peace accords with the PLO in 1993 and afterwards with Jordan in 1994, Israel’s attempts to reach Central Asia and the Caucuses, the beginning of a strategic alliance between Israel and Turkey, the presence of Israel in the Persian Gulf under the pretext of the Middle East Economic Conference, and expanding relations between Israel on the one hand, and China as well as India on the other, were all measures towards the encirclement of Iran.

The September 11 Attacks and the Iranian-Israeli Relations It seems that the September 11 attacks occurred in favor of Israeli interests in the Middle East. This terrorist act brought about a good opportunity for Israel for sharpening its opposition to Iran. Immediately after these attacks, the Jewish lobby in the United States attempted to urge the American administration to state that Iran was the principal agent behind these attacks. Failing this goal, Israelis tried to make Iran the target of American attacks, depicting it the major supporter of terrorism in international relations. The outcome of this attempt was placing Iran in ‘the axis of evil’ by President Bush. In other words, Israel has had a key role in declaring Iran as one of the countries in the US axis.

Irrespective of geo-political conditions, the Islamic Republic of Iran severed relations with the Israeli regime and followed its own policy in the Middle East, which is not understandable in the framework of most nationalist-materialist theories of international relations. The determining factor of the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards Israel was not due to material and tangible factors, but on account of the norms leaving a direct influence on the interests and identity of the Islamic Iran. One of the main ‘others’ factors of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding its identity were its opposition to Zionism and the Israeli regime. In other words, opposition to Israel (as well as the US) defined the Islamic nature of the Islamic system. The leaders of the Islamic Revolution claimed that Zionism along with Imperialism was staging plots against Islam, the manifestation of which being the Islamic Republic of Iran. To understand the point, I refer to some directions of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. He expressed referred to this point in his messages and speeches. Warning the threat of international Zionism for Islam and the Islamic Revolution, de-Islamisation by Israel, opposition of Israel to the very religion of Islam, threat of Israel for the Middle East and the Muslim lands, the sinister purposes of Israel for ruling over Muslim countries from the Nile to the Euphrates, irreligionist of the Zionists, colo To understand the point, I refer to some directions of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. He expressed referred to this point in his messages and speeches. Warning the threat of international Zionism for Islam and the Islamic Revolution, de-Islamisation by Israel, opposition of Israel to the very religion of Islam, threat of Israel for the Middle East and the Muslim lands, the sinister purposes of Israel for ruling over Muslim countries from the Nile to the Euphrates, irreligionist of the Zionists, colonizers’ support to Israel, the US support to the Shah and Israel, etc. are factors indicative of the understanding which the Islamic Republic of Iran has had, and still has of itself, regarding its proper expected behavior towards Israel.23 Severing relations between Iran and Israel immediately after Ayatollah Khomeini’snisers’ support to Israel, the US support to the Shah and Israel, etc. are factors indicative of the understanding which the Islamic Republic of Iran has had, and still has of itself, regarding its proper expected behavior towards Israel.23 Severing relations between Iran and Israel immediately after Ayatollah Khomeini’s return from Paris, the opening up of the PLO embassy in Iran, severe criticism of the Camp David Peace Agreement between Egypt and Israel, cutting off of relations with Egypt, declaring the liberation of al-Quds as the main objective of Iran after defeating Iraq, opposition to any reconciliation whatsoever between Israel and the Arabs, and wishing for the destruction of the Zionist regime, all point to the picture that the Islamic Republic of Iran had of itself and the expected measures that it pursued to that end. By understanding this inner essence of the Iranian psyche, it is possible to understand the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in a more accurate way. The Islamic Republic of Iran, like any other state, enjoys a social code reflecting its particular identity and strengthening its political actions. This social code, suggesting value preferences of the government, leads it to take certain actions. Therefore, the foreign policy of Iran towards Israel lies parallel to a combination of some of its value preferences. In this sense, foreign policy is no longer only the strategies for directing state actions towards mere material, tangible objectives, but an attempt towards achieving what it considers its desirable or proper role in a global arena. It goes without saying that one of the principal concerns, which is a part of the identity of the Islamic Republic of Iran and naturally approved and encouraged by the state, is supporting Palestine and opposing Israel. Broadly, we can say that all states have their own values, which are in rivalry on international scale. Hence, international politics resembles a scene of competition of values in which actions are hardly determined by objective and material conditions. Rather, individual judgments and assessments of states concerning those conditions determine the course of action they pursue. In this milieu, it is concepts and attitudes of the states, concerning what they consider as desirable and the undesirable that determines their actions

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