The reason Iran did not use all its strength when attacking Israel

Iran attacked with enough firepower for Israel’s air defense to intercept, avoiding the risk of a total war, but still demonstrating its deterrent ability.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the night of April 13 launched more than 300 UAVs, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles at many targets in Israel in response to the airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria yesterday. 1/4. The move marked the first time in Iran’s history that it fired from its territory to attack Israel, crossing the “red line” that has long existed between the two countries, which see each other as sworn enemies in the Middle East.

“Iran decided to establish a new balance,” IRGC commander Hossein Salami said in an interview with Iranian national television on April 14. “From now on, if Israel attacks Iranian interests, officials or citizens anywhere, we will respond from Iran.”

Iran’s attack had an unprecedented scale, combining UAVs and missiles, but experts said that the move was carefully calculated by Tehran to serve political rather than military goals, making it impossible for them to attack. Unleash your full attack power. Tehran needs to respond to Tel Aviv, and show off its strength, but must also avoid sparking an all-out war with its opponent that could put them in a difficult situation.

“Iran is clearly not unleashing its full power,” Sanam Vakil, director of the Middle East and North Africa program at the UK-based think tank Chatham House, told the Washington Post . “But this is an important symbolic move for hardliners in Tehran as well as pro-Iranian proxies in the region.”

Iran’s attack did not cause significant damage to Israel when only a Tel Aviv air base in the Negev desert and a radar station in the north of the country were slightly damaged by ballistic missiles. All Iranian UAVs and cruise missiles, which have slower flight speeds, were intercepted outside Israeli territory.

However, the Iranian leadership still declared this a “victory” and their attack caused the Nevatim air base, home to Israeli F-35 stealth fighters, to be “neutralized”. Thousands of Iranians poured into the streets to celebrate victory and chant anti-Israel slogans as soon as information about the attack was announced.

Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia in Lebanon, also congratulated Iran’s leadership and its people “for the unprecedented attack on Israel”. The group praised Tehran’s “courageous and wise decision to decisively respond to Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus”.

Analysts say that despite making drastic statements in the media, Iran may have carefully calculated to minimize damage to Israel. In the past, Iran often claimed responsibility hours after attacks. This time, Iran announced the start of its response campaign immediately after launching the UAV from its territory, while this weapon needed many hours of flight to reach Israel.

Iran knows full well that Israel’s defense systems will intercept most UAVs and missiles, said Sima Shine, head of the Iran program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “A missile hitting a residential area or military barracks will create conditions for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take stronger countermeasures.”

“Iran wants to avoid sparking an all-out war. The country’s economy has been severely affected by sanctions under US President Donald Trump. Iranian society also has some dissatisfaction with Iran’s policies. government,” according to CNN analyst Tamara Qiblawi. “Iran not only counts on Israel’s air defense system but also depends on it.”

However, some observers believe that Iran’s attack is still significantly larger than expected.

“It’s definitely not a blow and I think the move clearly shows Iran’s desire to restore its deterrence capacity against Israel,” said Raz Zimmt, an expert at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Iran wants to minimize damage to reduce the risk of retaliation, but Tehran may be wrong.

“The question is how Israel will respond to avoid further escalation of tensions,” according to Zimmt.

4 attacks by Iran and its allies aimed at Israel. Click on the image to see details

4 attacks by Iran and its allies aimed at Israel. Click on the image to see details

Analysts believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s far-right government will not ignore the incident. Tel Aviv announced on April 14 that it would make Tehran pay the price, but did not specify. If Israel responds with military measures into Iranian territory, Israel risks pushing its opponent into an even tougher stance, as conservatives are consolidating their position in Tehran and seeking to overwhelm moderates.

“The US and Israel will have a certain satisfaction when their efforts to block an attack from Iran demonstrate that the military balance is in Tel Aviv’s favor,” said Trita Parsi, an Iran analyst in Washington. “But when you think further, you see the situation now reinforces the hardline view of a group of Iranian officials that they will need to possess nuclear weapons to deal with Israel.”

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, but Tehran has denied it, asserting that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on April 15 expressed concern about the risk of Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in retaliation and asked international inspectors not to come. workplace to ensure safety.

Some Iranians fear the situation could spiral out of control, causing serious consequences for the Muslim country, which is already struggling with its economy. Iran’s local currency has lost more than 30% of its value in the past two years, while inflation has increased sharply.

“Escalating tensions and causing instability in the region will not benefit any side,” said Meissam, 37, a cafe manager in northern Iran.