15.04.2024 Author: Abbas Hashemite

Iran’s Retaliatory Attack on Israel: Assessing the Potential Fallout of Further Escalation

Iran’s Retaliatory Attack on Israel: Assessing the Potential Fallout of Further Escalation

In retaliation to Israel’s April 1st attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Iran directly attacked Israel for the first time in the history of the two countries. Iran used more than 300 missiles to attack Israel, out of which only 15 missiles succeeded in hitting Israeli land near its Nevatim base. The latter killed two generals of the Iranian military in its attack on the Iranian consulate. Public pressure inside Iran mounted to an unprecedented level, demanding action against Israel. Moreover, the attack on the Iranian consulate was deemed as a violation of International Law and Iran considered it as an attack on its sovereignty. The Iranian leadership had no other option but to retaliate. The world had already been worried about the perils of Israel’s attack on the consulate of Iran in Syria. The recent retaliatory attack by Iran has raised new concerns for the world.

While some are labeling this attack “choreographed,” others are worried about the response of Israel, which can lead to further destabilization of the Middle Eastern region. No Israeli citizen or major building has been affected by this Iranian attack. Moreover, most of the missiles were intercepted outside the boundary of Israel by the US, UK, France, and Jordan’s army. Therefore, Israel and its allies have stated that this attack was successfully foiled. On the other hand, Iran also declares its attack successful, and rightly so. Israel and its allies have suffered substantial damage due to this Iranian strike. The most detrimental impact of this Iranian attack on Israel and its allies in the Middle East is that it disclosed its military capabilities in the region. Israel was once deemed as an impenetrable power by the Muslim world, especially, but this attack has disclosed its defensive and military capabilities to the whole world.

Countries around the world are now aware of the collective capabilities of Israel, the US, and their allies in the Middle East. Any hostile force, including the proxy groups, can use this information to launch successful attacks against Israel, bypassing its multilayered defense system. On the other hand, Iran has also sent a message to its regional proxies, including Houthis and Hezbollah, that it holds the potential to directly attack Israel from its land. This attack has elevated the Iranian stature among its proxies and regional countries. However, the attack on Israel seems to be carefully calibrated as Iran has achieved its strategic ambitions while causing minimum damage to Israel. The Iranian attack resulted in no human casualties in Israel. Therefore, apparently, Israel has no moral obligation to retaliate to this attack.

Almost all the countries around the globe, including the United States, are asking both sides to show restraint and avoid further escalation. The lack of any substantial damage to Israel and the preparedness of its allies to counter Iranian attack has also raised suspicion among people around the world. There is a widespread perception that the attack was choreographed to some extent, as Iran allegedly conducted choreographed attacks against the United States in the past. However, Iran achieved all its goals effectively through this attack. Iran’s mission to the UN cited Article 51, the UN charter provision for self-defense, and stated that the mission is concluded. Iran has also told the United States privately that its retaliation was concluded, and it does not want any further escalation, while warning the US of serious consequences if the latter takes part in any offensive against it.

According to reports, President Biden has dissuaded Netanyahu from launching any further attacks against Iran, while stating that the US would not participate in any offensive attack on Iran. However, he also reiterated the US support for Israel’s defense. The G7 group also condemned the Iranian strikes, but it also sought to de-escalate the situation. Despite all the appeals for refraining from expanding the conflict, what’s concerning is whether the warmongering Netanyahu pays any heed to these appeals. Since October 7, people around the world, including many in Israel, have held that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is prolonging the war to perpetuate his rule in the country. Netanyahu has long been exploiting the divides in Israeli society and spreading hatred amongst his own people to gain political leverage. His whole political campaign revolves around extremism against Muslims and regional countries. Moreover, the Zionist lobby has a significant hold in Israel. Iranian attack on Israel has also damaged the military credibility of the country at home and abroad. Therefore, Netanyahu has to respond to the Iranian attack to save his political career.

Netanyahu convened a meeting of his war cabinet on 14 April, a day after the Iranian attack, to formulate an effective strategy to respond to this attack. Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, stated, after the end of the meeting, that Israel would “exact a price” for Iran’s attack at a time and in a war that suits it. Any escalation between Israel and Iran will have serious repercussions not just for the two countries but for the whole world. Israel’s attack on Iran could lead the world into a major war. A war between Iran, and Israel would result in the blockade of the Strait of Hormuz. The world, especially Europe, will plunge into an energy crisis. The world will see a major spike in oil and gas prices. This war will also further widen the gulf in the Middle Eastern world. Moreover, the prospects of World War 3 will also increase. At this juncture, world leaders, especially the US, European Union, Russia, and China – should play an effective and prudent diplomatic role to de-escalate the situation, otherwise this game of  brinkmanship could lead the world into major catastrophe.


Abbas Hashemite – is a political observer and research analyst for regional and global geopolitical issues. He is currently working as an independent researcher and journalist, exclusively for “New Eastern Outlook”.

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