The war in Gaza is a gift for the hard-liners in the Islamic Republic. Whipping up hate against a common enemy to gain support is an easy game.
Led by the Supreme Leader Iranian officials have been queuing up to denounce Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and, posing as champions for the whole Islamic world, have been calling on all Muslims to join the fight.
Ordinary Iranians fear this development will set Iran back. Iran’s involvement in Gaza strengthens the hardliners and puts closer ties with the West at risk. The average Iranian worries that Iran will be further isolated, and that sanctions will remain, and perhaps worsen. They also fear the shadow of a military confrontation.
This is what Iranians firmly rejected when they elected Hassan Rouhani as their president.
The conflict in Gaza is particularly dangerous for Christians for whatever strengthens the hard-liners increases the possibility of more arrests of believers, who can sometimes be unfairly accused of supporting Israel, the enemy.