Did the Recent War Between Israel and Hamas Help Iran or Hurt It?

Two top analysts talk about how Iran sees the region these days, and especially how it thinks about its friends and its enemies.

A member of the Iranian navy at a military exercise in the Arabian Sea on February 17, 2021. Iranian Army/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

A member of the Iranian navy at a military exercise in the Arabian Sea on February 17, 2021. Iranian Army/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Observation
Aug. 9 2021
About the authors

Ray Takeyh is Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His areas of specialization are Iran, political reform in the Middle East, and Islamist movements and parties.

Assaf Orion is a retired Israeli brigadier general and defense strategist at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and the Liz and Mony Rueven International Fellow at the Washington Institute. He writes on Israel’s relations with China, its regional strategy, and more.

In mid-July 2021,¬†Mosaic‘s¬†editor Jonathan Silver sat down with two distinguished analysts of the Middle East to ask if, from Iran’s perspective, the May 2021 conflict between Israel and Hamas set back or advanced Tehran’s regional interests. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation, which explores the Iranian regime’s strategic concept of the region, Israel, Hamas, Hizballah, Yemen, Iraq, and much else.

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More about: Iran, Israel & Zionism, Middle East