April 15, 2024 | Flash Brief

Following Failed Onslaught, Iran Threatens Further Attacks

April 15, 2024 | Flash Brief

Following Failed Onslaught, Iran Threatens Further Attacks

Latest Developments

Iranian leaders warned Israel on April 14 that the Jewish state would face “stronger” retaliation if it attacked the Islamic Republic in response to Tehran’s failed onslaught against Israel. “If the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” said Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a statement.

Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, issued a similar threat. Iran “decided to create a new equation,” he said on state-run television. “From now on, if Israel attacks Iranian interests, figures and citizens anywhere, we will retaliate from Iran.”

The statements reflect a letter that Tehran sent to the United Nations on April 13. “Should the Israeli regime commit military aggression again, Iran’s response will assuredly be stronger, and more resolute,” the letter said. Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, said, “Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran.”

Expert Analysis

“Washington and Jerusalem can help turn Tehran’s political win — breaking the taboo of striking Israel directly from Iranian territory — into a strategic defeat. A layered attack featuring upwards of 300 projectiles to include drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles is not something that can and should be ignored. Unless Tehran risks more than the projectiles it fires, there will be more missile and drone salvos in the Middle East.” — Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

“Tehran is establishing a new baseline for escalation where launching 120 ballistic missiles, alongside cruise missiles and drones, is just another Saturday night in the Middle East. The only way to turn a calculation into a miscalculation is by imposing heavy, unexpected, and undesired costs.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Iran Warns U.S. to ‘Stay Away’

In an apparent effort to dissuade U.S. backing of Israel, Iran’s UN mission said on X on April 13, “It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!” In the same tweet, however, Iran said that the completion of Iran’s attack means the “matter can be deemed concluded.” Bagheri, for his part, threatened to attack U.S. bases in the region if Washington supports Israeli retaliation. This rhetoric suggests that the clerical regime hopes that its threats of a counterattack will be sufficient to deter either Washington or Jerusalem from striking back against Iran.

Unclear Consequences

Iran’s attack faced wide-ranging international criticism, but the full consequences for Tehran are as yet unclear. President Biden pledged “ironclad” support for Israel yet informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington will not support an offensive Israeli response, U.S. officials told CNN. “We are committed to defending Israel. We would not be a part of any response they do. That’s very consistent policy,” said a senior U.S. administration official.

Iran Attacks Israel with Drone And Missile Barrage,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran’s Terror-Enabling Supreme Leader Only Opens the Door for Israel to Hit Back Hard,” by Mark Dubowitz and Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran Seizes Israel-Linked Ship,” FDD Flash Brief


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