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London Economist Admits, ‘Israel Has Now in Effect Bombed Iranian Soil’

Iranian consulate near the Iranian embassy in Damascus after it was hit with an Israeli airstrike. CC/Rajanews

April 3, 2024 (EIRNS)—The London Economist published an article April 2 wondering if Israel hasn’t gone a bit too far, with its deadly strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus. Noting that “Israel is testing Iran” and that “it is a dangerous game in a region already at war,” The Economist admits that the strike “was a serious escalation in the long shadow war between Israel and Iran, hitting a target that should have been off-limits under international norms. The question now is how Iran will choose to respond—and whether it does so by attacking Israel itself or its main foreign backer, America.”

The Economist is blunt: “By striking a consular building Israel has now in effect bombed Iranian soil.”

That is true, both technically and politically. Israel has justified this full breach of international law—even they coyly won’t admit their responsibility—by describing the Iranian consulate in Damascus as a “military building … disguised as a civilian building,” in the words of IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari.

Even The Economist has to admit this is preposterous: “That sanctity [of embassies and consulates] is nonetheless a long-standing global norm. If the mere presence of military men was enough to override it, some of Israel’s own embassies would be legitimate targets too.”

The big question, The Economist continues, is what will Iran do now? They have promised retaliation, but one big question is whether that will be against Israel or the U.S. They report that “American officials have made it known publicly that they had no advance knowledge of the Israeli attack in Damascus, a message they also passed via intermediaries to their Iranian counterparts. The Iranians sound unconvinced.”

The bottom line is that “Israel is playing a risky game in Syria… If Israel pushes too far, the region could find itself in a far messier conflict”—an understatement, if ever there was one.