The world awaits Israel’s next move in response to the attacks by Iran

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Since the Israel-Hamas war began in October, Tehran has relied on proxies throughout the Middle East; nevertheless, its unprecedented attack on Israel early on Sunday represents a shift in Tehran’s strategy.

While Washington explores diplomatic measures to reduce regional tensions, all eyes are on Israel to decide whether to take further military action.

Iran claims the attack was a reaction to an airstrike earlier this month that it claims destroyed consular offices in Syria and killed two generals with its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. The bombing was largely attributed to Israel.

Israel reported that its anti-missile defense system, supported by the United States and Britain, took down nearly all of the over 300 drones and missiles that Iran launched overnight. An Israeli airbase was hit by a missile that caused minor damage, and the only known victim was a teenager who was injured in southern Israel.

Nevertheless, the Revolutionary Guard leader in Iran declared the operation a success.

According to Mona Yacoubian, vice president of the Middle East and North Africa center at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Iran has successfully struck a balance between taking public revenge for the Damascus strike and avoiding inciting more Israeli military action—at least initially—which could spark a much wider conflict.

“Given that no Israeli civilians were harmed, both (Iran and Israel) can now declare victory and back down from the brink,” Yacoubian stated.

However, the outcome of Sunday’s Israeli War Cabinet meeting was still awaited by the globe. Hard-liners in Israel have called for a reaction, but others have advised caution, arguing that Israel should concentrate on fostering its growing relationships with Arab allies.

War Cabinet member Benny Gantz declared, “We will form a regional coalition and collect the price from Iran, in the manner and at the time that suits us.”

According to analysts, Iran conveyed a message indicating its willingness to intensify and modify the terms of its covert conflict with Israel.

According to Magnus Ranstorp, a strategic adviser at the Swedish Defense University, “it’s a warning shot, saying that if Israel breaks the rules, there are consequences.”

The attack by Iran has increased worries that the Gaza conflict may devastate the region.

However, Iran insists that it does not want a regional all-out conflict. Iran currently has “no intention of continuing defensive operations,” according to Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, unless it is attacked, according to a post on X, a platform that was originally Twitter.

Iran emphasized that it did not target civilians or “economic areas,” but rather the Israeli facilities implicated in the Damascus attack.

Following Israel’s start of its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, militias backed by Iran participated militarily while Tehran remained neutral. The Hezbollah organization in Lebanon launched rockets into northern Israel. In the Red Sea, Western ships were assaulted by Houthi militants in Yemen. U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Syria were targeted by an umbrella organization of Iraqi militias supported by Iran.

Tehran is now “willing to up the ante” without depending on go-betweens, according to Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center.

Iran did, however, only get so far.

Yahya stated, “I think they knew that they (the drones and missiles) would be brought down before they reached Israeli territory. They gave enough warning that this was coming.”

Furthermore, she pointed out that the focus of the increasing pressure on Israel regarding its actions in Gaza has now switched to reducing tensions in the region.

According to Yacoubian, Washington must act decisively to prevent further escalation.

Eldad Shavit, the director of the Israel-U.S. Research Program at the Israeli think tank Institute for National Security Studies, stated that the United States and other allies do not appear to support Israel’s decision to take further military action.

President Joe Biden is “working on the diplomatic side of this personally,” according to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, who spoke to NBC. Biden does not want a “wider war” or an escalation in the regional confrontation with Iran.

On Sunday, the United Nations Security Council and the G7, an informal grouping of industrialized nations that includes the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, were holding urgent talks.

In a statement, all members of the G7 meeting denounced Iran’s strike and stated that “we stand ready to take further measures now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives.”