Michael Ledeen contends that the Gaza offensive could be a devastating blow to Iran’s influence in the Middle East:
After years of refusing to see Iran’s aggressive intentions, most sensible observers of things Middle Eastern now recognize that the most important terrorist organizations, from Islamic Jihad to Hezbollah and Hamas, are essentially Iranian proxies. Figaro this weekend carries a story bluntly headlined “Iran Behind Hamas’ Grad Missiles,” and flatly states that Hamas military commanders have been trained in Iran and Syria to use the deadliest missiles in their inventory. The battle of Gaza is therefore the second between Israel and Iran in two and half years, the first being the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah (which, lest we forget, was kicked off when Hamas kidnaped three Israeli soldiers).
It follows that Iran could well lose this battle, and defeat is very dangerous to a regime like Tehran’s, which claims divine sanction for its actions and proclaims the imminent arrival of its messiah and of the triumph of global jihad. If Allah is responsible for victory, what can be said about humiliating defeat? The mullahs are well aware of the stakes, as we can see in their recent behavior.