Iran's Revolutionary Guards Commander fears attack against Iran and warns Hezbollah not to attack Israel for fear of reprisal
AEI resident fellow Ali Alfoneh reveals that a disagreement between the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah was – for a short while – revealed in a story published in a pro-IRGC news outlet, Botia News.
Major General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the IRGC's Quds Force, warned Hezbollah General Secretary Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah against a preemptive strike against Israel: "Any attack would depict them [i.e., Israel] as victims and us as unjust aggressors, which would mobilize the public sympathy for them. This would harm us." (Read the full piece here)
Alfoneh explains that:
- Tehran fears that the slightest move by Hezbollah against Israel – in an attempt to divert public attention from Syria – could be used by Israel as a pretext to attack Iran.
- The story reflects Tehran's unhappiness with Hezbollah's growing independence.
- Tehran may also fear that Hezbollah, fearing improvement of relations between Iran and the West, is planning to spoil the Baghdad nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 Group by launching a preemptive strike against Israel.
Note: The story about the interview was later removed from all sites.
Ali Alfoneh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Alex Della Rocchetta at email@example.com – 202.862.7152
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