Iran Strikes Back. What Will Israel Do Next?


SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS — Iran’s retaliatory strikes against Israel this weekend were both a potentially game-changing, historic first — and an underwhelming response. Historic, because Iran itself had never attacked Israel directly, choosing instead to use its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas to play that role. The last country to fire missiles at Israel was Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. 

But the strikes were also underwhelming, given that for two weeks, observers in the region and around the world had feared a massive Iranian response to the April 1 Israeli air strike that killed three Iranian generals and four others at Iran’s embassy in Damascus. “The Zionist regime will be punished by the hands of our brave men,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week. “We will make it regret this crime and others it has committed.” The U.S. had warned that Iran’s retaliation might ignite a wider regional war, exactly what the Biden Administration and others have been trying to avoid since the October 7 Hamas massacre.

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