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Scott Ritter: Iran's Retaliatory Attack 'Reestablished Deterrence' to Hold Israel, US in Check

Iran’s mission to the United Nations stated earlier that Tehran’s retaliatory drone and missile attack against Israel had “concluded.” The “military action” was a response to Israel’s “aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus,” it said, adding that the strike “hit designated targets.”
By launching its retaliatory drone and missile attack on Israel, Iran “reestablished deterrence,” former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter told Sputnik.

“Israel believed that it could launch a strike against Iran and suffer no consequence. That is no longer the case,” Ritter noted.

As Israeli military officials survey the damage done to their bases, “they understand the following: that Iran deliberately chose not to inflict extremely lethal action against Israel,” the analyst remarked.

Iran launched a massive drone and missile attack against Israel overnight, assisted by Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthis. Over 300 projectiles were fired at Israeli territory from Iran, with Iran’s mission to the United Nations stating that its retaliatory attack on Israel had “concluded,” and that the strike "hit designated targets." Israel's military has claimed that 99% of the projectiles were intercepted.

Iran’s strike was designed to send a signal to Israel and the United States, “that it could do what it did in Nevatim, at Ramona, anywhere in Israel, anywhere in the Middle East, and there was nothing the United States or Israel could do in response.

“This is deterrence. This means that in the future, if either Israel or the United States plan on carrying out an action against Iran, they have to weigh in the consequences of their actions knowing that Iran has the capacity to reach out and touch any place, any spot, any target in the region in Israel or out of Israel, and there's nothing anybody could do to stop that,” the retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer said.

© AFP 2023 / ATTA KENAREA demonstrator holds a bullter shell replica as others gather at Palestine Square in Tehran on April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel.
A demonstrator holds a bullter shell replica as others gather at Palestine Square in Tehran on April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.04.2024
A demonstrator holds a bullter shell replica as others gather at Palestine Square in Tehran on April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel.
US President Joe Biden issued a statement on Iran’s attack against Israel after he spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The POTUS condemned the strike “in the strongest possible terms.” He also reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad commitment” to help support Israel, and added that there were no attacks on US forces or facilities on Saturday, but that the US “will remain vigilant to all threats.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US does “not seek escalation,” but will “continue to support” Israel’s defense. “I will be consulting with allies and partners in the region and around the world in the hours and days ahead,” he added.
Weighing in on the flurry of talks between US and Israeli leaders, Scott Ritter said:

“This is why President Biden has been on the phone with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, telling him, 'Do not retaliate.' The United States will not be a partner in any offensive action against Iran. Not because the United States is friendly to Iran, but the United States understands the consequences that will accrue, should such an attack take place. The United States has been deterred against further action against Iran.”

Video grab shows explosions lighting up Jerusalem sky during Iranian attack on Israel.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.04.2024
Iran Says Retaliation Strike on Israel 'Concluded,' Attack 'Hit Designated Targets'
The question uppermost at the moment is, “what will Israel do?” Ritter noted.

“Israel has been trying to lead the United States into a larger conflict with Iran for some time now. Indeed, some people have speculated that the Israeli attack against the Iranian Consulate in Damascus was designed for just that purpose... But the Iranians were very clever in designing their response – just like they did, when they retaliated against the United States for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani back in 2020,” Ritter said.

He recalled that at the time, Iran launched over a dozen missiles against the Al-Asad air base in Iraq, but Tehran gave Washington advance notice that that base was going to be struck. Thus, Iran ended up destroying empty buildings, Ritter recalled.
But it demonstrated to the United States that it had the capacity to strike any American base in the region with extreme precision and kill as many Americans as they wanted – if they wanted to do that. And America was deterred against future action of that sort. Will Israel be deterred?” the analyst wondered.

No decision has been made yet regarding an Israeli response to the Iranian missile and drone attack, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel. It was added that a potential response would be discussed at a war cabinet meeting set for later on Sunday. Israel's response to the Iranian attack will be coordinated with its allies, The New York Times reported earlier, citing an Israeli official.

After Iran’s unprecedented strike, Tel Aviv “understands that any escalation could mean the destruction of Israel,” Scott Ritter noted.

“Israel probably isn't going to launch a response against Iran. Israel has been deterred from launching that response by the Iranian actions. In this case, we can say that operation 'True Promise' was an extraordinarily successful operation, not only for Iran, but indeed for the world, because Iranian deterrence now is a reality that can hold Israel and the United States in check,” Ritter said.

Rescue workers search in the rubble of a building annexed to the Iranian embassy a day after an air strike in Damascus on April 2, 2024. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.04.2024
Regional War in Mideast Unavoidable If Israel Continues Strikes on Iran - Ex-Iranian Envoy
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