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Tags: israel | iran | united nations | general assembly

Iran Not Worried, Hindered by Israel's Bluster

israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu with blue tie and israel flag pin
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Debbie  Hill/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Micah Halpern By Wednesday, 27 September 2023 09:23 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The annual General Assembly of the United Nations not only brings a parade of heads of state and diplomats to NYC, it also brings an uptick of interest in international issues. The General Assembly provides the perfect opportunity to examine and understand the players and forces that influence world politics.

World leaders address the General Assembly throughout the weeklong pageant — world leaders, and that includes enemies of democracy.

In his speech before the leaders of the world, with much of the world watching, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed that Iran will try to sabotage the Saudi Arabia- srael potential peace deal that the U.S. is attempting to broker.

Netanyahu explained that he was extremely disappointed with the international community's "indifference" to Iran's antics and to its games. He was especially disappointed in the international community's apathy towards Iran's nuclear ambitions and to Iran's obvious plans to develop nuclear technology.

Netanyahu said that in order "to stop this, sanctions must be snapped back — and Iran must face a credible nuclear threat." The prime minister of Israel said his country would do everything he could to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. He said Iran must feel credible world pressure before it refrains from enhancing its nuclear technology.

For its part, Iran is neither hindered nor worried by Israel's threats and bluster. It is not worried that Netanyahu's cheers will successfully galvanize the Western world and its leadership to act aggressively and decisively toward them. Experience has taught Iran otherwise.

Iran is so secure in the success of its own strategy and power, that at the very same time that the UN General Assembly paraded its finest, Iranian leadership paraded its newest military machinery through the streets of Tehran. It broadcast the self-aggrandizing spectacle live on Iranian TV and other media.

It celebrated its victory over Iraq in the eight-year-long Iran/Iraq War, a war that was waged from 1980 to1988. The war that began with the Iraqi air force launching a surprise attack on Sept. 20, 1980 — a coordinated air strike on Iran's airfields. A strike that, for the most part, failed.

While the initial strike caused only moderate damage to several airport structures and barely touched the Iranian fighter jets, it upended the lives of Iraqis and Iranians for almost a decade.

The war ended in July of 1988 with UN Resolution 598, sending both sides back to their internationally accepted borders. Neither side won. Neither side achieved any of their objectives. Neither side should celebrate.

The human toll was enormous. Iran lost 600,000 Iranians, Iraq lost 500,000 Iraqis. Estimates are that 100,000 civilians were killed and up to 2 million were casualties as a result of this 8-year war. Many of the Iranian civilians died after being chemically gassed by Sadaam Hussein's air force.

But the parade marched on. In the words of Iranian state media, on display was "the longest-range drone in the world" alongside ballistic and hypersonic missiles. Iran's newest drone was unveiled. The Mohajer-10 drone boasts an enhanced flight range and duration as well as a larger payload. Older versions also, the Mohajer-6, the Shahid and the Arash drones were also there for Iranians to marvel at.

If the drones were real — and not made of balsa wood and cardboard — this Iranian parade was a mighty impressive array of fighting machinery and capability. An impressive array of drone weaponry.

The name Mohajer is a borrowed word from Arabic. In Parsi or Persian, the language spoken in Iran, Mohajer means a holy or sacred migrant, a religious pilgrim. Note the root of the word, "h-a-j" as in the annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Haj.

The Mohajar-10 can fly 2,000 km (1,240 miles) and can stay in the air for 24 hours. Its maximum payload is 300 kg (661 pounds), double the capacity of the Mohajer-6 drone. Again, if true — if Iran truly has this drone — it is a significant addition to its arsenal, and it is a significant threat to the Western world. Especially to Israel.

This parade has far more relevance than simply the celebration of a military anniversary. Iran was creating a pageant for the world to see. It was distracting attention from the UN General Assembly. It was asserting its self-proclaimed dominance just as the United States and other Western countries were condemning Iran for providing drones and drone technology to Russia to attack Ukraine.

It was telling the world, you may accuse Iran of giving Russia Mohajer-6 drones, but that's small fry. We are upping the ante and displaying the even better Mohajer-10 version.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi articulated Iran's intentions and purpose clearly. He said: "Our forces ensure security in the region and the Persian Gulf. ... We can teach the people of the region that resistance is today's way. What forces the enemy to retreat is not submission and wavering, but resistance."

It is all part of a larger game.

As another part of the game, Iranian media recently displayed a picture of the Mohajer-6. On the drone was a message written in both Hebrew and Parsi that read: "Prepare your shelters." Iran was using the drone to threaten Israel. A direct and indisputable threat.

Iran is playing a large game and a long game. Prime Minister Netanyahu knows better than to underestimate its power, its capability and its disregard for human life. The world must pay heed.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.

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Iran is so secure in the success of its own strategy and power, that at the very same time that the UN General Assembly paraded its finest, Iranian leadership paraded its newest military machinery through the streets of Tehran.
israel, iran, united nations, general assembly
Wednesday, 27 September 2023 09:23 AM
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