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In Focus

How the Israel-Iran conflict could go nuclear and is helping their leaders cling to power

Jack Straw was the first foreign secretary to visit Iran after the 1979 revolution and is used to negotiating with its leaders – even, on one occasion, from a train loo. Here, he explains why Netanyahu and Khamenei are throwing each other a lifeline to stay in power, and warns we could all pay a terrible price...

Monday 22 April 2024 17:39
A woman in Tehran walks past a mural depicting missiles being launched
A woman in Tehran walks past a mural depicting missiles being launched (AFP/Getty)

A quiz question: the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 was one of the bloodiest since the Second World War. Most major powers were actively supporting the aggressor, Iraq, hoping that Iran’s Islamic Revolution, begun in 1979, could be snuffed out.

Which Western nation was the only reliable and consistent supplier of arms to Iran?

The answer: Israel. Iran could not have lasted the eight years of the war without Israeli help. Key military engagements were also coordinated.

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