Iran is very pleased with itself this week. The clashes in Jenin have brought critique of Israel from the Persian Gulf and other states, while Iran is able to portray itself as part of the countries that are today doing diplomacy rather than conflict.
Iran believes that it is making progress on multiple fronts in this respect. It is working on new deals with Russia, it believes it has much warmer relations with Riyadh than in the past and it is pleased to see new diplomatic initiatives between Syria and the Arab League.
Iran is also making moves against Kurdish groups. Recent clashes with the group PJAK reveal that either PJAK is increasing its operation, or that more likely Iran is trying to clip the group’s wings by increasing operations against PJAK. Iran has in the past carried out attacks in Iraq against Kurdish dissidents. It may now want to up the pressure on PJAK at the same time that Turkey’s tensions with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are growing.
Russia, Syria and Turkey are planning to hold a meeting in Astana regarding Syria. Iran may be making moves to work more closely with Turkey.
Iran seeks to strategize with Palestinian terror groups ahead of key meeting
At the same time, Iran’s media is not overly hyping the clashes in Jenin. Iran does not also appear to be taking credit for the clashes. But that does not mean that Iran is not seeking to benefit or to strategize with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
In fact, Iran is meeting with PIJ and Hamas this week and is likely seeking to exploit the situation. Al-Mayadeen, for instance, highlighted the fact an explosive was used against an IDF vehicle in Jenin. This media is close to Iran and Syria and therefore is seeking to reflect the overall view that Iran has of the recent clashes.
At the same time, Iranian media is also discussing how protests began last year after the Islamic Republic's morality police killed Mahsa Amini. According to the report Iran now believes foreign intelligence and foreign countries promoted these protests. This is the usual conspiracy theory that Iran promotes. However, it shows that now, more than half a year after the protests, Iran feels confident they are now fully over. Now Iran can analyze and learn and the regime can consolidate power.
If one connects the dots between these various themes, a pattern emerges.
Iran believes that Israel is losing out on the Iran-Saudi deal. It also is happy to see the Syrian regime reintegrated into the Arab League. It also believes that it has defeated the protests and can now strike at PJAK as it works with Turkey and Russia.
For Iran, many things are now coming together. It also likely believes China has got the upper hand in relations with the US. This may affect how Iran looks at the prospect of any kind of new deal with Washington. With exports on the rise and a new hypersonic missile, Tehran likely believes it doesn’t need a new deal with DC.