Viewed in this way, Israel’s problem has been how to bring its arch-foe within effective range. That problem may have been solved by the ayatollahs themselves. The Islamic Republic is now embroiled in three major campaigns: a proxy conflict with Saudi Arabia in Yemen; participation on behalf of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war; a state of conflict with Israel across the Lebanese border via Hezbollah. These not only represent a considerable burden for Iran’s limited resources, they also bring a large part of Tehran’s forces within effective range of the IDF.
This constitutes a major opportunity for Israel to catch Tehran at the end of its tether, forcing it to retreat. Iran is overstretched and far from home. The seeds of this weakness were planted by the expansionary tendencies within the Islamic Republic itself. Drawn to Lebanon by the prospect of running lucrative rackets and unable to resist exploiting the chaos occasioned by Obama’s inaction in Syria, it joined the list on the side of Assad.