Published 11:33 IST, April 17th 2024

'Iran Thinks It's Ready to Defend, But Past Records Are Awful': Expert Warns Amid Israel Threat

In an exclusive conversation, a Middle East analyst said that although Iran claims it is prepared to defend itself, its past record suggests otherwise.

Reported by: Tanisha Rajput
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'Iran Thinks It's Ready to Defend, But Past Records Are 'Awful'': Expert Warns Amid Israel Threat | Image: Republic/AP

New Delhi: As Israel is threatening Iran with 'exacting a price' in response to Tehran's 'full-scale' military assault, an Iranian analyst has warned that while Iran believes it is prepared to defend itself against such a counterstrike, its 'awful' previous records in defending and (or) preparing for foreign assaults could leave the already sanctions-hit nation more vulnerable. Does this imply Iran's potential inferiority to Israel?

In an exclusive conversation with Republic Media Network, Reza Khanzadeh, a Middle East analyst and Foreign Policy advisor at the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce, said, "I think the Islamic Republic believes it is prepared to defend itself from an Israeli counterattack. However, I don't think it can ever be fully prepared for an attack by Israel. Iran’s track record in preparing for and defending itself from foreign attacks is awful."


In an unprecedented attack on April 13, Iran had launched hundreds of drone strikes and missiles at Israel in retaliation to the attack on its consulate in Syria on April 1. Two top Iranian generals along with five others were killed in the attack.

While the US-backed Israel managed to defend itself against the majority of drone strikes, the country's Minister Benny Gantz in a statement issued later, warned that  Israel will "exact a price at the right time" with Iran.


As the world is closely watching Israel, anticipating a response to the Iranian attack, which took place two days ago, Khanzadeh spoke with the Republic on Iran's "potential inferiority" to Israel and the implications of the long-drawn conflict. Excerpts:

'Israel is Considering a Severe Attack This Time'

"Historically, Israel has been comparatively quick in responding to an attack. Given the level of intelligence they possess on the Islamic Republic, they could have easily attacked Iran or its interests throughout the region. However, the delay indicates that Israel is seriously considering a more severe level of attack on Iran and is weighing all the consequences," Reza stated when asked about when Israel might respond to the assault.


Even though Iran Claimed to Have 'Concluded' the Attack, What Could be Israel's Possible Plans of Attack?

According to the Iranian expert, "If Israel were to strike Iran, we could expect operations that have been used in the past. For example, attacks on Iran's proxies whether that is Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and or other members of Iran's so-called axis of resistance throughout Syria and Iraq."

He further told the Republic Media that another form of attacking Tehran could be destroying its nuclear facilities, nuclear scientists, and other top generals, as Israel did earlier in Damascus.


If Compared in Military Powers, Who is More Powerful, Iran or Israel and Why?

"When comparing military power, certain traditional measures can be considered. When it comes to air force and defence, or nuclear weapons, then Israel is superior."

However, Reza emphasised that Iran has an advantage in terms of technology and soldiers.


" In technology, Iran could be argued to have a stronger will by the sheer number of soldiers prepared to enter into battle against Israel."

Highlighting Iran's equipment power, the expert said that the country runs many drone programmes, which has also helped Russia gain more ground in Ukraine

Was This Attack a 'Fail' as No Major Destruction was Caused?

When questioned about whether Iran's attack on Israel was a failure, Reza expressed, "Calling this attack a failure squarely depends on which lens you were examining this conflict from. From a US-Israeli perspective, this attack by Iran wasn't a failure, as close to 500 drones and missiles were intercepted by Israel's air defence system. However, only seven projectiles hit their targets inside Israel, causing no serious damage, which can easily be argued as a failure."

"To simply be able to execute such an attack with calculated precision using drones and missiles while understanding what the ramifications might be can be argued as a success," he said.

What Significant Role Can India Play in De-escalating the Iran-Israel Conflict?

Amid the ongoing tensions in West Asia, India called for "immediate de-escalation of violence."

Reza emphasized that India can mediate between both countries, given its positive relations with both parties, unlike many other nations.

"India finds itself at the intersection of a complex dilemma involving Iran and Israel, beyond their direct animosity towards each other," Reza explained.

"Iran, grappling with the impact of recent sanctions, seeks economic relief, which India can facilitate through platforms like BRICS, particularly in the areas of oil and gas. On the other hand, Israel is exploring alternative military support options, especially as the Biden Administration in Washington delays approval of military aid. India, once again, could leverage its position," he added.

Are We Heading Towards World War III? If Yes, How Will It Impact the World Economy?

With conflicts such as Russia-Ukraine, Israel-Hamas and others going on, Republic Media asked the Iranian expert if this is the beginning of another world war, to which he replied, "I do not believe we are moving towards World War 3 because, despite hostilities increasing on two fronts, none of these nations nor their leaders has an appetite for the war as it has been stated privately and publicly."

He added that both Israel and Iran also stated that they do not seek a 'full-time' war, along with the United States made similar comments.

However, he added, "These conflicts may continue for the foreseeable future with ebbs and flows of attacks, I believe at level heads will prevail and understanding that a major war serves no one's essential."

If another world war erupts, the global economy will be significantly impacted. Essential commodities such as oil, shipping, and food grains will all experience severe repercussions.

20:36 IST, April 16th 2024