Bryan Acuna Obando

The war in the Shiite crescent

Shiite Crescent

Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip has brought about a series of accompanying circumstances that have made the context of the conflict more complex. In general, the confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians are not limited to both actors in the international context but are globalized in terms of reactions at the international level and the participation of actors of the global system, between countries with interests associated with the area, international organizations, and the press.

It is also important to note that the current conflict is attempting to change the regional dynamics in terms of the new alliances achieved through the Abrahamic agreements and aims not only to restore prominence to the Palestinian cause, but also to alienate the countries that have normalized relations with Israel, whether through politics or through chaos. The manager of this is the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The sponsorship that the Tehran regime has given to Islamist organizations in recent years has generated instability in different areas of the Middle East where they seek to counteract the push for a pro-Western alliance with countries in the Gulf, the Mediterranean Levant and at the gates of Africa, as well as push their agenda in the genocidal call for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Therefore, it is not surprising that in the current Gaza conflict that began in October 2023 in conjunction with the violence unleashed in the Palestinian area, military fronts have also been activated in South Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and even in Iraq, places influenced by the Iranian government in recent years, which has been popularly called the “Shiite crescent” and which allows the ayatollah regime to destabilize delicate areas of control and influence from the Persian Gulf through the strait of Hormuz, areas near the Arabian Sea through influence on the Houthi guerrillas, affecting transit to the Suez Canal, movement through the Gulf of Aden and connections to the Indian Ocean, as well as the African Horn.

On the other hand, they intend, through their proxies, to break the stability on the Lebanese border with Israel, as well as in southern Syria, and to motivate military confrontations in the Palestinian territories through their allies such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, promoting a struggle not only military, but also ideological through radical Islam that is fought by different countries in the region where their political perspective is much more secular, such as Egypt or Jordan.

Likewise, Iranian relations with Algeria strain relations with Morocco because the Tehran government has shown its support for both the Algiers government and the Polisario Front in their fight for Western Sahara. The Islamic Republic of Iran, therefore, promotes an Islamist, anti-Western agenda with the support of countries like Russia and China that also move their chips to achieve ties that break the bloc created by the West through economic and military diplomacy.

The Iranian government could be seen as the horse in this political chess in the Middle East but really pretending to be the king, since although its alliance with global powers such as the governments of Moscow and Beijing are functional for it to achieve its immediate objectives, the perspective raised by the Tehran government from a political and military logic is to impose a model based on the absolutist Islamist ideology practiced by the Iranian clergy even against the Sunni leadership that controls the sacred places of Islam today.

The war in Gaza is the continuation of the chaos of the impossible conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, however, the internationalization of the confrontation to the rest of the region is due to interests beyond the formation of an independent Palestinian State and points out the important role that assumed by the Iranian government to achieve, through the Palestinian cause, its own goals, and objectives of political and ideological control.

About the Author
Graduated from the Master's Degree in International Relations at the National University (Costa Rica), specialized in Middle East issues. Columnist, analyst and international consultant.
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