It would be a mistake to think that the 2006 war has set the trend for future battles with the Zionist entity. Since then, and a cursory glance at the headlines of the last 3 years will prove this, Israel and the United States have been locked in a vicious "Cold war" with Iran. It is ridiculous to try to continue propagating the myth that the Mossad or the CIA are incompetent. They are not. Since 2006, key architects of Israel's defeat have been assassinated or targeted. Most notably we hear of Imad Mughniyeh, but a Syrian general key to Syrian/Hezbullah relations has also been assassinated. The kidnapping in February 2007 of an Iranian general in Turkey, a man instrumental in shaping Hezbullah in its early years, as well as the assassination of Iranian scientists working on Iran's nuclear programme have all been part of a concerted effort to cripple Iran and Hezbullah's ability to retaliate as and when the Israelis choose to strike.
Only recently we watched the headlines quietly die down as the first act of piracy in British waters in over 150 years took place, allegedly by the Israeli Mossad. We will not hear the exact details, but it was rumoured that an item being delivered from Russia, with a cargo meant for Iran, had been intercepted on its way to Algeria. Last month, a senior Iranian general was assassinated in a province bordering Pakistan in a move widely believed to have been effected by intelligence groups beyond the cowboy "Soldiers of Islam"-style band of heroes and whose spokesman was speaking to al Jazeera from London. As for the demonstrations in Iran following the June elections, it may or may not have been incited by Britain, but we must remember that the British and Americans were very good at instigating huge demonstrations against Prime Minister Mossadegh in the fifties.
Nevertheless these events listed above, a few examples from a much bigger number of headlines, don't give us the full picture. Iran on the surface slackens and pulls the nuclear rope as and when it sees fit. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the taps of mayhem and roadside bombs are controlled from Tehran and both the United States and Britain know this. In Lebanon, now firmly controlled by Hezbullah, the 'promise' of Hassan Nasrallah to avenge the killing of Imad Mughniyeh still stands and in Gaza Hamas remains vigilant, able to target Israeli airfields and settlements with their crude missiles. Syria seems to be playing the diplomatic card and does not want to be involved in a region wide conflagration with Israel, but it is quite happy to encourage stronger Iranian-Turkish ties or to provide a haven for Hamas' Khaled Meshaal.
I find myself pondering sometimes, in light of all these facts, what the next move will be. What are known regionally as the "countries of resistance" (دول الممانعة) are patient, incredibly, unbelievably, totally patient. If they carry out a massive operation somewhere in the world, then they have given the pretext for war that the Israelis are dying to have. Then again, the Iranians might not be particularly worried about that and are simply taking their time in preparing their 'action', if one is strong then he has no need to fear the scheming of his enemies. But if the Iranians find themselves in a weaker position, they may be playing their uranium enrichment card in order to gain some time whilst they dig in deeper and grow stronger. Perhaps we should not ask ourselves whether war will erupt but whether it will escalate, for there is already a war with Iran.