Those who say it was ‘theater’ shouldn’t read this article!

It would be misleading to evaluate Iran's attack in terms of what percentage of its weapons reached their targets, or to liken it to a farce. Recall that Hezbollah, too, has not been pursuing a simple strategy of confrontation for the past six months, but has been firing shots aimed at unraveling the Iron Dome. It must be admitted that the Iranians are masters of long-term power struggles, the allergies of the regime's own people aside.

Iran finally carried out its so-called 'Operation True Promise' retaliation against Israel. Iran put an end to a cacophony of ridicule: “It can't do it,” “It wouldn't dare,” “It would only threaten,” and “It would use proxies.” The same people sneer at the result, calling the operation “theater” or “collusion.” The balance sheet of losses of such a showdown with a state in the myth of immunity is undoubtedly the most important reference to define success or failure. But it is not everything.


The Iranian leadership had been in a dilemma since its consulate in Damascus was hit on April 1. On the one hand, there were those who believed that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyanu, unable to achieve his declared goals in Gaza, facing an internal revolt and eroding external support, was trying to draw Iran into the war, hoping to distract attention from the genocide and regain the support of allies, and that Iran should not fall into this trap. According to those who called for ‘Strategic Patience,’ Iran was already at war with the American-Israeli-Western axis and should stick to long-term goals and focus on strengthening the 'Axis of Resistance.’ On the other hand, although Israel has sabotaged strategic facilities and assassinated scientists inside Iran, inflicting heavy casualties on the Revolutionary Guards in Syria, this was the first time Israel had attacked a diplomatic compound on Iranian soil. Therefore, leaving it unanswered would have undermined Iran's deterrence and its credibility with the 'Axis of Resistance.’ The concerns of the latter prevailed. However, Iran and the United States conflicted in avoiding regional war. This is where diplomacy found its way.


Through partners in the region, the US has urged Iran to exercise restraint. On April 11, the foreign ministers of the UK, Australia, and Germany called their Iranian counterparts. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked China for help. This traffic gave Iran a chance to calibrate its retaliation by entering into negotiations with the US. Iran's message was: "If the US intervenes in the conflict between Israel and Iran, American forces in the region will be attacked. Don't mess with us and we won't mess with you."

The US repeated its warning that it would side with Israel in the event of a direct attack.

Iran tried to get the US to promise non-interference in return for a controlled retaliation.

The US rejected the demand.

Meanwhile, Israel pursued a dual strategy. Reinforcements were sent to the region, while CENTCOM Commander General Michael Kurilla traveled to Israel to coordinate defense efforts against a possible attack. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin assured his counterpart Yoav Gallant that they could count on full US support.

The distinction between providing defense support to Israel and going to war with Iran for Israel has become clearer. On April 3, the Washington Post reported that Austin complained to Gallant that the US had not been adequately informed before attacking Iran. According to Axios, Washington demanded that Israel notify the US before it decided to retaliate. In this way, the American administration would have a say in the decision. The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Charles Brown, emphasized that they were trying to avoid war.


Eventually, while Iran refused to bow to US warnings, a bargain was made with the American administration that set a tacit set of engagements. This is not simply collusion or theater. It was an exchange that ensured a mutual understanding that would prevent an inevitable retaliation from triggering an Iranian-American confrontation or a regional war, also including threats and confrontations. Iran did not renege on its promise of strike. The counter-message was that if the retaliation came not from Iranian territory, but from elements of the axis of resistance (Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, and Ansarullah in Yemen), it could be dealt with. Iran stood its ground and told the US, “If you get involved in this, American bases in the region will become our targets.” And the US repeated its message that it would protect Israel. However, Reuters reported yesterday that a message was sent through Turkey that “the reaction must be within certain limits.”

As I understand based on information from American and Israeli sources, the question of the conditions under which the United States would be a target was answered in the following way: If US involvement was limited to intercepting Iranian missiles, American interests would not be targeted. The situation would change if the US accompanied Israel's possible response against Iranian territory. The targets were also military points, which would help the US to restrain Israel. The intention was to retaliate anyway, not to start a war.

In negotiations conducted through Oman, Iran also demanded a ceasefire in Gaza. If retaliation was to be taken off the table, at least there had to be an outcome in favor of Palestine. The Americans responded, “Put pressure on Hamas for a ceasefire.” In the end, Iran said it would retaliate in a 'limited', 'well-dosed' way, 'avoiding escalation' and 'involving proxy forces.' It also sent a message that if the American bases surrounding Iran were attacked, the host countries would be burned.


Let's get to the results:

- For the first time, Israel was attacked by a non-Arab state.

- Since the 1973 war, the myth that Israel is untouchable has been shattered. Since the 1973 war, the prevailing view in the region was that “whoever touches Israel will burn.”

- For the first time, Israel acted together with an international coalition. The belief that Israel alone can overcome every country has been shattered. It has realized that it cannot fight any future war independently.

- The US, UK, France, and Jordan have made Israel's job easier by intercepting Iranian missiles and drones. Israel will no longer be alone in its decisions. This creates a binding relationship to rein in Tel Aviv.

- The war cabinet met yesterday to discuss possible responses. The outcome shows that it is Israel's turn in the policy of 'Strategic Patience.' Benny Gantz emphasized that the world's attitude towards Iran is the real result and that they see it as a strategic success that must be exploited. He spoke of building a regional coalition and said, “We will take it out on Iran in a way and at a time that suits us.” Strategic Patience as a metaphor has also permeated Israeli politics. MP Gideon Saar advised 'strategic patience', saying “The government should focus on Gaza. Iran's time will come.”

Some information leaked to the American press sheds light behind the scenes. US President Joe Biden told Netanyahu on the phone on April 13 that they would not support an Israeli counter-strike against Iran. The concern was that an Iranian response would trigger a catastrophic regional war. “You have won a victory. Accept the victory,” Biden was quoted. Noting that together they had defeated the attack, Biden in a way suggested 'no need for retaliation,' emphasizing that they had hit everything, that the damage was light, and that it would make sense to declare victory. According to the New York Times, Israel renounced retaliation after this meeting. In fact, the War Cabinet had already been authorized. Biden's job is made easier by the fact that Iran has limited the targets to military installations. Of course, Biden's stance does not include pressure to prevent Israel from attacking Iran.

- With the US firmly committed to protecting Israel, Israel may attack Iran again, knowing that it will not be left alone. But the simultaneous attacks from Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon, not to mention Iran, have shown that Israel cannot go to war without drawing in the United States. It must drag the American-British-French triumvirate behind it. At this stage, it means that Biden's warning was effective and the 'World War III' scenarios have been avoided.

- The fact that the Israeli military is promoting a success story of intercepting 99 percent of the drones, guided missiles, and ballistic missiles, and obscuring the balance sheet of destruction and casualties, shows that Tel Aviv does not want to raise expectations of retaliation. In the first hours, it was reported that the American-British duo had shot down all the drones before they reached Israeli airspace. Then images began to emerge from the skies over cities such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Hebron. Images of missiles finding their targets were recorded on camera. According to a Farsi spokesman for the Israeli army, more than 90 percent of the missiles were shot down before reaching Israel. 170 drones and 30 guided missiles failed to reach Israeli airspace. A few of the 120 ballistic missiles managed to enter the airspace.

The Israeli army says only one base was slightly damaged, but the truth may be different. After bullets, lies are the most common thing the Israeli army shoots. Israel does not want to destroy the myth of the impenetrability of the Iron Dome, which includes Arrow 2, Arrow 3, Iron Beam, Barak 8, and the David Slingshot. According to Iran's Chief of Staff Mohammad Baqeri, the intelligence center in Jabal al-Sheikh and the Nevatim base where the F-35s are based were successfully targeted.

- Apart from the 'trans-state' actors in Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, Iran has only seen Syria on its side in the Arab world. The partnership against the Israeli-American axis since 1979 was once again put to the test. Turkey, which claims to be the 'chieftain' of the Islamic world, probably did not fail to serve the American-British duo with the Kürecik Radar Station.

- The most important outcome for Iran is revenge without provoking a regional war. Iran presents this retaliation as a protection of its deterrence. Hossein Salami, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, says the following about the new equation: “We have decided to create a new equation, which means that from now on, if Israel attacks Iranian interests, personalities, and citizens anywhere, we will retaliate.”

- While the scale was large, Iran did not use many variants, which would have allowed it to unravel the enemy's entire defense capacity. Instead, it mapped the enemy's defenses by sending hundreds of drones to different locations, forcing Israel and its allies to use more advanced technology. It would be misleading to evaluate Iran's attack in terms of the percentage of its weapons reached their targets, or to liken it to a farce.. Recall that Hezbollah, too, has not been pursuing a simple strategy of confrontation for six months, but has been firing shots aimed at unraveling the Iron Dome.

It must be admitted that the Iranians are masters of long-term power struggles, the allergies of the regime's own people aside. It is the only country in the region that has been able to take on a global giant and its outpost, despite a devastating war with Iraq between 1980 and 1988 and a decades-long embargo.

- Even the Biden administration, the main supporter of the genocide war, could not prevent Israel from striking Iran and Iran from striking Israel in the shadow of the Gaza war. But it has managed to contain the escalation, both by adhering to its mission of protecting Israel and by keeping a good dose of confrontation with Tehran.

But when 'pirate attacks' and 'rogue state practices' have become the norm, it is unpredictable how long Israel will hold back. The dictates of mental coding are at work here: First, Israel sees its existence in the destruction of the Palestinians. Second, Israel sees Iran as an existential threat. Third, Israel believes that since it lacks geographical strategic depth, it must always wage war outside its borders. Israeli military doctrine is shaped by these codes. No one can guarantee tomorrow, as genetically ingrained anxieties do not easily disappear. But Iran has also crossed a border that it has been avoiding.

March 05, 2024 Iran’s defeat!