A Scorpion wants to cross a river, but can’t swim. He goes to a frog and asks him for a ride on its back. the frog says: “if I give you a ride you’ll sting me”. The scorpion explains that if he stings the frog, they’ll both drown. The frog accepts this logic, and the two start their journey across the water. Halfway through, the frog feels a burning spear in its back and realizes that the scorpion did sting. As they’re both drowning, the frog asks the scorpion – “why did you do that – now we’ll both die”.
The scorpion tells him: “I can’t help it – it’s in my nature.”
Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq… and Iran?
The last few years prove that it is only “natural” for Iran, with no better way of putting it, to be involved in as many skirmishes as it possibly can. The 3 big ones going on at the moment – The war in Syria, the Gaza Strip contention and the ISIS-IRAQ conflict, are claiming insurmountable amounts of casualties every day.
In addition, Iran is knees deep in all sorts of terror activities.
Referring to the Israel-Palestinian arena – The newspaper Javan, affiliated with the IRGC, stated that Iran “had armed the resistance in Gaza with Fajr 5 missiles and with drones to help fight Israel and gave Iran credit for its success.” And only recently, the Iranian leadership pledged further military assistance to the terrorist organizations in Gaza, while the Supreme Leader Khamenei called for expanding this assistance, stating “We believe that the West Bank should also be armed like Gaza”.
North of there, in the bloodbath that is the Syrian civil war, Iran has earned itself a whole Wikipedia article on its involvement. But we’re discussing terror here: Iran used and is still using Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror organization, to carry out its interests in Syria.
Terror on your doorstep
But in Iraq, the “let’s use a terror group” tactic went a bit off. It is hard, the regime slowly learns, to deal with a terror organization when it’s coming against you.
The Iranian agents in Iraq, numbered at 32,000, both covert and unconcealed, are using any kind of weapon they can, going so far as flying Jets. It seems Iran is genuinely scared of the threat that ISIS poses. This threat has even led Iranians to question whether it was wise spending all the personnel, ammo and supplies in other arenas (like Gaza and Syria). To quote Dina Esfandiary, who wrote earlier this month: “Iranians are terrified. Many question Iran’s involvement in Syria, but they support involvement in Iraq. Syria is an optional war: a crisis where Iran can dial its involvement up or down based on its policy preferences. It is not an existential issue. But ISIS activities in Iraq pose a real threat and a genuine sovereignty concern, something Iran hasn’t seen in a long time.”
It remains to be seen, whether Iran’s quest for Middle East power will lead to its downfall. For Iran’s sake, it must be able to beat its nature.