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How can Israel respond to Iran attack?

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Israel has multiple options as it prepares for a counterstrike against Iran
Israel has multiple options as it prepares for a counterstrike against Iran

The world is eager to see how Israel will respond to Iran for their attack over the weekend. The five-member Israeli Cabinet was engrossed in a meeting in the Kirya on Tuesday, April 16, discussing the country’s response to Tehran.

This was the third such meeting since the historic strikes on Saturday that exposed a protracted covert conflict.

Despite calls for caution from other nations, including the US, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged retaliation for the strike by Iran. It’s thought that the Cabinet is concentrating on when and how much Israel will respond.

Israeli officials were cited as telling NBC News that, despite the lack of details surrounding the impending strike, a counterattack would undoubtedly occur. They claimed that a lack of action would indicate weakness and invite additional attacks by their arch-enemy.

“The question now is: What is the right policy?” said Micky Aharonson, a former senior director for foreign policy on Israel’s national security council, in an interview with The Telegraph. What could discourage? What would hurt those who are not involved less? Who would participate in the operation and who would back [Israel]?

Here are a few options to consider as Israel considers its options and the associated hazards.

Israel may hit nuclear facilities in Iran

Direct attacks against Iran’s nuclear sites would be arguably the most aggressive response from Israel. But doing so would provoke Iran to strike Israel once more, which would start a regional conflict that the US, Europe, and the Arab world are anxious to avoid.

When the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, voiced concerns about Israel potentially striking Iranian nuclear installations, this type of attack gathered momentum. Rafael Grossi, the head of the IAEA, responded, “We are always concerned about this possibility,” when asked if an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear installations was a possibility.

It’s easier said than done, though, to take this option. This is so because the majority of Iran’s nuclear facilities are buried deep beneath the surface.

However, Israel possesses the expertise because they have executed strikes in the past, having destroyed a Syrian nuclear site in 2007 and an Iraqi reactor in 1981.

Israel could also choose Iran’s Bonab Atomic Research Center, which is located not far from Israel. Even though it’s not one of Iran’s most significant nuclear sites, attacking it would demonstrate Israel’s military might.

Airstrike against Iran’s military infrastructure

Israel also has the option of attacking Iran’s numerous military installations. Former chief of the research division of the Mossad intelligence agency Sima Shine told Bloomberg that striking Iranian soil with as few people as possible would send a message of deterrence.

According to experts, Israel might eliminate IRGC commanders or target supply routes, industries, and weapons and drones, thereby strangling Iran’s war economy.

According to defense commentators, eliminating senior leaders might also have some effect on psychological warfare.

Notably, if Israel were to select this course of action, it would not be the first. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated in 2022 that he had given the order for Israeli military to strike an Iranian drone base.

Also Read: How effective was the missile attack by Iran on Israel?

Israel may target Iran’s oil refineries

Iran is a major oil producer and an OPEC member. Furthermore, Israel could choose to attack Iran’s oil refineries if it so desired. The nation’s economy would then be impacted by this. Though it’s a possibility, this might not be the best course of action.

Due to the potential for instability in gasoline prices worldwide, this approach may potentially annoy allies in the West.

 

Proxy war against Iran

Rather of confronting Iran head-on, Israel might want to target its numerous proxy organizations, collectively referred to as the “Axis of Resistance.” These include the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Experts think that Tehran would find it challenging to place the direct blame for such an attack on Tel Aviv.

And if not these, Israel might take advantage of this to totally destroy Hamas, the terrorist organization that mostly operates in the Gaza Strip and is supported by Iran. This won’t be simple, though, according to The Telegraph, since Hamas is more than simply an organization—it’s an ideology.

 

Israel may wage cyber war against Iran

If Israel is not considering a military option, it may explore using cyberwarfare against Iran instead.

Actually, Tel Aviv is thought to have launched multiple cyberattacks on Iranian infrastructure over the years, targeting everything from gas stations to nuclear power plants. Israel is not new to using this tactic.

An attack of this kind would be most noticeable in sectors like flight services or energy generation. To lessen the impact on the general public, former intelligence officials assert that they think Israel would refrain from attacking hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

 

Diplomatic action against Iran

Israel is stepping up its efforts to further isolate Iran through diplomatic channels even as it holds off on taking military action. Numerous analysts have pointed out that Iran miscalculated in their strike over the weekend, giving Benjamin Netanyahu the upper hand.

requested that the international body punish Iran for its behavior at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council held shortly after the strike on Saturday. Gilad Erdan, the UN representative for Israel, addressed the Security Council, “Today, the council must take action.” Declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps to be a terrorist organization; denounce Iran for its acts of terror; activate the snap back mechanism and reinstate harsh sanctions. It is imperative that action be taken immediately, not for the sake of Israel or the region, but for the sake of the world.”

On Tuesday, the US, a strong friend of Israel, declared that it will apply more sanctions to Iran’s drone and missile programs. The additional sanctions, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, will target organizations that assist the IRG and Iran’s defense ministry. Furthermore, in reaction to Iran’s attack, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pledged that the US “will not hesitate” to impose economic sanctions.

In an effort to further isolate Iran internationally and put more economic pressure on the regime, the G7 is also thinking about imposing sanctions.

The wait-and-watch strategy is currently in effect. When and how Israel will react to Iran is a matter for the future.