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Apr 21, 2024 / 17:31

An unprecedented tightrope dance

Israel and Iran directly attacked each other's territory, marking the next escalation level of their enmity and bringing themselves closer to the brink of true war

It was both dangerous and spectacular which military games Israel and Iran have been playing with each other during recent days and weeks. Israel started the game first by attacking Iran's diplomatic complex in Syria's Capital of Damascus, killing Iranian officials there. Iran retaliatorily struck back with more than 360 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles inside Israeli territory. Then Israel sent some explosive drones into Iranian territory. For the first time since ever, these two long-time archenemies directly attacked each other's territory, marking the next escalation level of their enmity and bringing themselves closer to the brink of true war. 

 Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) chairs a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv on March 31, 2024. Photo: AFP/VNA

But Israel's military reactions to Iran's retaliatory attacks were more temperate than the Iranian retaliations before. They were fully in contrast to Israel's aggressive rhetoric after being hit by Iranian drones and missiles. This confirmed the validity of the assumption that Israel's real intention was only to show that it has already retaliated against Iran and not to make Iran feel pain. There were obviously calculations on the Israeli side that only pretended and not real attacks against Iran could prevent Iran from striking Israel again. It was both hope and fear on the Israeli side. One can see that Israel doesn't dare to provoke wars with Iran because Israel is fully aware of the fact that Israel's major and vital allies, first of all, the US, are effectively supporting Israel in safeguarding its security against Iran but not can not ready to stand alongside with Israel carrying out wars with Iran. If is militarily attacked by Israel, Iran will be forced to react like it had reacted but always without going to war with Israel. The reason is as long as Israel is militarily supported by its allies, Iran couldn't win any armed wars with Israel.

That is why, until now, no war had broken out between Israel and Iran and why it would most possibly be so in the future. But the slimmer the so-called Red Line is, the easier it can be overran.

Israel and Iran are now all dancing on a tightrope. They must keep the balance for both together and for everyone. If one of both falls, the other will fall too. This time moment is very sensitive and the situation is highly explosive. Together, they could keep their game under their control but their game is very easy at any time to get out of their common control. What can be seen now is unprecedented in the history of their enmity.

And the outside world is fearing and hoping.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Hanoi Times.