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Iran emerged stronger. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Editors

Soon after the April 13 attack, involving 360 Iranian projectiles – suicide drones, ballistic missiles and the like – the news from Israel has been quite confusing. 

Three small explosions were heard over the Iranian city of Isfahan in the central district of the country soon after midnight on Friday, April 19. 

Within minutes, it was clear that the much-touted Israeli response had taken place. 

The response in question was an Israeli retaliation to a massive Iranian attack on Israel on April 13, itself a retaliation to the Israeli deadly attack and destruction of the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1. 

Within an hour or so, the US government, military and media were rife with news reassuring the Iranians that Washington played no part in the Israeli attack, and that the attack did not target Iran’s nuclear facilities, and the like. 

For its part, the Iranian message was not that of escalation – blaming ‘infiltrators’ and belittling the Israeli strike. In fact, the Iranian position is justified. 

Iran’s Success Revealed 

Soon after the April 13 attack, involving 360 Iranian projectiles – suicide drones, ballistic missiles and the like – the news from Israel has been quite confusing. 

Initially, and almost immediately, the Israelis made the claim that a whopping 99 percent of all Iranian drones and missiles have been struck down by Israel and its allies, including Arab militaries. 

That number, however, was not adding up, especially when amateur video footage began surfacing, showing direct hits to Israeli targets and loud explosions throughout the country. 

Later, leaks, direct statements, and media analyses began challenging the triumphant and ultimately erroneous Israeli allegations. 

For example, the Israeli newspaper Maariv updated the number of successful Israeli interception of Iranian hits to 84 percent. 

CIA sources also revealed that, without American intervention, the Iranian attack would have been more successful. 

Additionally, news surfaced that in fact two Israeli military camps in the Naqab desert had been hit directly and the damage – unlike earlier claims – were extensive. And more.

All of this seems to have shifted Israel’s calculations that it must respond, with the hope of restoring the so-called deterrence strategy in the Middle East. 

The Non Response

For years, the Israeli military and intelligence have been active inside Iran, using anti-government forces and exploiting the ethnic and political divides in the country. 

In January 2023, the city of Ifsahan came under what was believed to be an Israeli drone attack, which originated from Iran itself. It caused a large explosion in the center of the city, but according to Iran’s claims, little damage. 

That was not the first nor the last infiltration of Iran by the Israeli Mossad and its operatives. 

The latest Israeli attack, using three small drones, can be seen within the geopolitical context of previous attacks, thus can hardly be considered a convincing response considering the powerful Iranian show of force of April 13. 

But why did Israel choose such a muted response to the Iranian attack? 

‘Within Seconds’

Iranian politicians and leaders had promised a retaliation “within seconds” shall Israel attack Iran. It seems that the Israelis and their American allies understood the seriousness of the Iranian threat, thus the limited response. 

Additionally, the latest Israeli attack had most likely originated from Iran’s own territory, which is a return to the old rules of the game – the so-called shadow war between both countries. 

Iran, too, has been playing this game, either directly or using its allies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. 

So for Iran, Israel’s response was hardly a response that compels a counterattack within seconds, therefore there was no need for further escalation. 

The Missile 

Then, there is the question of the wreckage of an Israeli missile, which was found in Iraq. 

Military analysts suggest that the Israeli missile was developed using reverse technology from Iran’s own Shahab missile.

This particular missile can in fact be launched from a fighter jet, since Israel does not have the range to fire at Iran from Israel itself – nor could its fighters travel such a distance with reasonably high loads of explosives. 

If this analysis proves to be correct, it means that the Israeli missiles’ capabilities have failed to confront the more advanced Iranian missile technology. 

Either way, it seems that Israel would be happy for this particular episode to end at this, a huge departure from the arrogant attitude of Israeli leaders, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the past. 

For years, Netanyahu has engaged in political theater, banging the drums of war, threatening that Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities alone and regardless of the consequences.

For its part, the West engaged in its own theatrics as well, begging and pleading with Israel not to attack Iran.

April 13 should have been the historic opportunity for Israel to execute its threats, as the West stood solidly behind Israel and its ‘right to self-defense’, while condemning Iran in the strongest possible language. 

But Israel didn’t use the opportunity, simply because it neither has the technology nor the capability to sustain a long-term war with Tehran. 

Iran on the other hand, emerged stronger, for it demonstrated its ability to operate at a military, political, diplomatic, and strategic level in ways that Israel simply cannot. 

It would be no exaggeration to say that the Iranian attack on Israel, and the Israeli ‘response’, have proved to be a game changer, not only in the history of conflict between Iran and Israel, but, as time shall prove, in the power dynamics that have governed the region for decades.  

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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