After Years of Vowing to Destroy Israel, Iran Faces a Dilemma

For more than four decades, Iran’s rulers have pledged to destroy Israel. The supreme leader, , rarely appears in public without wearing a black-and-white checkered Palestinian kaffiyeh.

Iranian military commanders gloat over training and arming groups across the region that are enemies of Israel, including Hezbollah and Hamas. And when Hamas conducted the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel that killed 1,400 people, Iranian officials praised it as a momentous achievement, shattering the Jewish state’s sense of security.

Now Iran faces a dilemma, weighing how it and its proxy militias — known as the axis of resistance — should respond to Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and the killing of thousands of Palestinians, and whether to bolster its revolutionary credentials at the risk of igniting a broader regional war.

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“There is no need for Iran to directly get involved in the war and attack Israel itself because it has the resistance axis militia who follow Iran’s policies and strategies and act on its behalf,” said Nasser Imani, an analyst close to the government, in a telephone interview from Tehran, Iran. “Right now Iran is in control mode — it is telling all



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