Weekend long read

1) At the INSS, Eldad Shavit and Sima Shine discuss ‘Difficulties in the Negotiations with Iran: Implications for Israel’.

“The negotiations between the United States and Iran on renewing the nuclear agreement have run into serious difficulties following the opposition by the United States and the European partners to Iran’s demand that the IAEA close the open files on the Iranian nuclear program before the implementation of the agreement (120 days after signing). At the same time, Iran continues to accelerate the program, including the enrichment of uranium using cascades of advanced centrifuges.”

2) Writing at Foreign Policy, Jonathan Schanzer looks at reports concerning a Lebanon-based intelligence center.

“In the wake of the May 2021 Gaza war between Israel and Hamas, reports in Israel suggested that Iran helped the terrorist group out of a Lebanon-based nerve center or joint operations room. Reports concerning this nerve center are scarce. However, what is known is cause for significant concern, particularly if the goal is to prevent future conflict in the Middle East.”

3) The FDD provides a memo concerning Hizballah’s precision-guided munitions.

“Hezbollah’s arsenal includes an estimated 150,000 surface-to-surface rockets and missiles. Most are inaccurate short-range rockets, but some are more accurate and have ranges of up to several hundred kilometers. During a potential conflict, the group is capable of challenging the IDF, destroying critical military and civilian infrastructure, disrupting Israel’s economy, and inflicting significant civilian casualties (including by potentially hitting chemical storages tanks and nuclear facilities).

Hezbollah’s primary weakness, however, is that its rockets have been inaccurate. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Iranian proxies have the same problem. This is why, over the last decade, Iran has launched a project to enable Hezbollah, and perhaps other groups, to hit targets in Israel more accurately. The ultimate goal is to strike military and civilian targets in Israel, a small country with little redundancy in terms of critical infrastructure.”

4) At the JISS, Jonathan Spyer analyses the significance of renewed ties between Syria and Turkey.

“Since May 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated several times that Ankara wishes to carry out an additional military operation in Syria. This would be the fourth invasion since 2016. Like its predecessors, the purpose of such an operation would be to reduce further the area controlled by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria/Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) entity.”

 

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