Since his rise to power in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has to
some extent served Israel’s interests. His denial of the Holocaust and
persistent calls to destroy Israel have drawn the world’s attention to Iran’s
covert military nuclear program, which led this past June to a new round of
For the same reason, ahead of last summer’s rigged
presidential elections, some Israeli officials privately expressed hope that
Ahmadinejad would win, and not his contender, reformist candidate Mir Hossein
While a candidate like Mousavi would likely not change anything
in Iran’s race to become a nuclear power, and would continue to build the bomb,
his more moderate appearance and rhetoric would assist the Islamic Republic in
“laundering” the program. As a result, the international community would likely
be more reluctant to pass tough sanctions and engage Iran in tough diplomacy.
Ahmadinejad’s continued tenure helps ensure the pressure on Iran is kept
All of which is relevant given the reports on Wednesday – officially
denied by Iran – that Ahmadinejad had been the target of a failed assassination
attempt, and the inevitable raising of eyebrows in Israel’s direction. From the
Israeli perspective, it would seem, it is the regime that matters, not its
public, presidential face.
It is not certain, furthermore, that someone
like Mousavi would succeed Ahmadinejad were he to, by fair means or foul, vacate
the stage. Israel learned the hard way in 1992 that assassinating leaders of
terrorist organizations is not always beneficial, and the same could apply to
Iran. In February of that year, Israel assassinated Abbas al- Musawi, the leader
His replacement was Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who Israeli
intelligence analysts readily admit is far more conniving and treacherous.
Nasrallah has built Hizbullah up to what it is today; the party makes up almost
half of the Lebanese government and is a formidable military force.
truth is that there are plenty of groups within Iran that would like to get rid
of Ahmadinejad for reasons other than his nuclear policies.
is the Green Movement, and while little has been heard from the Greens since the
anti-regime demonstrations died down after last year’s elections, it is believed
to still be alive, albeit below the surface.
There is also the People’s
Mujahedin of Iran, an opponent of the regime that has been responsible for a
number of attacks in recent years against the Revolutionary Guard
It is likely that Iran officially denied that Ahmadinejad had been
the target of an assassination attempt Wednesday in order to give the appearance
that the country is united and the regime has no enemies.
The truth is