Raisi’s Death Might Serve as the Excuse to Start World War III

It doesn’t matter why the helicopter carrying Raisi crashed. Even if it crashed due to bad weather, equipment malfunction, or internal sabotage, in the back of everyone’s mind, it is Israel that will be blamed or credited, depending on which side one is talking to, for Raisi’s death.

Nehru Sathiamoorthy

Iran and Israel will inevitably go to war. The only question is when.

The reason that Israel and Iran will go to war is rooted in their conflicting identities. Iran is an Islamic theocracy, while Israel is a Jewish state. Both Islam and Judaism are monotheistic religions that share a common origin story. The problem with monotheism, or the belief in one god, is that one god can only have one chosen people.

The Jews and the Muslims cannot both claim to be the one true people of the one true god. Something has to give.

For as long as Jews lived under Muslim dominion, they could coexist peacefully. This arrangement implied that Muslim dominion signified that Muslims were the one true people of the one true god.

The fact that Israelis are subjugating the Palestinians, who are Muslims, is unacceptable to the Muslim population worldwide, because subconsciously, it is raising the question as to who is the one true people of the one true god?

As a theocratic Islamic state, Iran has to combat Israel, especially now, when Israel is likely to be waging a genocidal war against the Palestinians, or lose its identity as a Islamic state.

The only reason that both Israel and Iran have not gone to war to date is because Israel doesn’t want to be blamed for starting what could potentially escalate into becoming a world war while Iran is not sure if it will be able to win a war with Israel if it fights it at the present time.

Israel wants to fight a war with Iran today, because it believes its chances of victory against Iran is best if it fights a war with Iran today itself. Conversely, Iran wants to fight a war with Israel in the future, because it believes that its chances of victory against Israel is best in the future.

To avoid being blamed for starting a world war, Israel has been doing its best to provoke Iran into striking first, so Iran, not Israel, would be blamed for starting the war.

Early last April, Israeli warplanes struck the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing at least three senior commanders and four officers overseeing Iran’s covert operations in the Middle East, in an effort to provoke Iran into starting the war.

Two weeks later, Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles and drones targeting Israel in retaliation against the Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus. Iran’s missile attack against Israel however, was largely seen by experts as a face saving and show of strength measure, and not a genuine attempt to start a war with Israel. This is so because Iran not only telegraphed its attack to Israel before launching it, but also calibrated its attack to ensure that it inflicted minimum damage in Israel. The purpose of Iran’s missile attack on Israel, according to experts, was merely to show that Iran was not afraid and is capable of attacking Israel, without giving Israel any cause to start a war against Iran.

A week later, Israel hit Iran’s Isfahan region with a missile, which Iran downplayed to avoid being forced into starting a war with Israel.

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi  due to a helicopter crash in the mountains of Azerbaijan yesterday (May 20), however, is likely going to make it very difficult for Iran to continue avoiding war with Israel.

It doesn’t matter why the helicopter carrying Raisi crashed. Even if it crashed due to bad weather, equipment malfunction, or internal sabotage, in the back of everyone’s mind, it is Israel that will be blamed or credited, depending on which side one is talking to, for Raisi’s death.

Iran could afford to not retaliate against Israel’s missile attack in Isfahan, but can it still afford not to attack Israel for Raisi’s death, when in everyone’s mind, Israel is likely the party that is seen as being responsible for assassinating not only its head of government, but also the person that was touted as the most likely successor to the 84-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the Supreme Leader of Iran?

The goal of warfare is to force one’s opponent into submission by making them endure humiliation.

It is only if we have self-respect that we will wage war. Our self-respect can be broken if we can be forced to endure humiliation willingly without offering any form of retaliation.

Iran has endured an attack on its embassy, a missile strike on its territory, and now the death of its president, which will almost certainly be attributed to Israel. If Iran doesn’t retaliate, it will be seen as humiliated.

If Iran accepts this humiliation, not only will its own fighting spirit die, but in the future, if it wages war against Israel, it will be difficult for it to expect any support from anyone, given its image as a humiliated nation.

However, if Iran retaliates against Israel immediately, Iran might fall into Israel’s trap. Not only will Iran’s retaliation make Israel look like it was not the one that started the war it is eager to wage,  Iran will also be forced to wage war against Israel at a time that is not to its advantage.

Raisi’s death bears many similarities to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which is the event that is generally attributed to have started World War I.

After Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip in June 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that eventually led to a number of European powers declaring war on each other, starting World War I.

In the same way, Raisi’s death might trigger Iran to declare war against Israel, which in turn  might provide an excuse for the superpowers to also get involved and settle their own scores, and this has the potential of starting the Third World War.