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Iran restores its deterrence,Tehran’s response will be far more powerful if Israel attacks back

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By Abdel Bari Atwan

The same people who dismiss the Palestinians’ astonishing achievement in resisting Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip for more than six months, are now downplaying what Iran achieved on Saturday night when it launched more than 300 drones and missiles at two Israeli airbases in the southern Naqab region of occupied Palestine.

First, they said Israel is a regional superpower which will crush all resistance and take control of the Gaza Strip within a couple of weeks. Now, they’re all over social media trivialising Iran’s retaliatory strike for the Israeli air raid on its consulate in Damascus.

When the Iranians stated at the highest level that they would retaliate and the Israelis would be sorry, these pundits scoffed. And when the retaliation came, rather than admit they were wrong, they claimed it was all a show staged in advance in a secret deal between Iran and the US — which is why not a single Israeli was killed. Or they said it was a conspiracy aimed at drawing attention away from Israel’s ongoing massacre in the Gaza Strip and rallying word opinion behind it again.

Iranian officials repeatedly made clear that the aim of the strike was to retaliate for the attack on the consulate — not to liberate Palestine or wage an open-ended war — and would not be repeated unless Israel embarked on an aggressive response.

The fact that Iran forewarned the US of the attack is not, according to military analysts in the West, any evidence of collusion. It is more a mark of self-confidence: showing that Iran is not afraid of Israel or its US protector.

The latter was quick to announce it wouldn’t take part in any Israeli retaliatory action against Iran. It doesn’t want to be caught in Israel’s trap and lured into a regional war it cannot win, at a time when it is losing its war in Ukraine and the chances of a confrontation with China are growing.

Hamas’ ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ operation on 7 October shattered the myth of Israeli deterrence.

Iran’s 2021 rocketing of the US base at Ain al-Asad in Iraq, in response to the US’s assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, did the samefor the US deterrence, setting the stage for its flight from Kabul .

Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza turned global opinion massively against it.

It is deluding itself if it thinks it can win it back by posing as a victim of Iran.

Iran’s strike targeted two military airbases, and caused zero civilian casualties.

That speaks volumes about the huge moral chasm between Israel— the ‘only democracy’ and representative of Western values in the region— and Iran which has been suffocated by US and Western sanctions for the past 40 years.

The Iranian counterstrike strengthens the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, deals a powerful blow to the aggressor occupier-state, and demonstrates in practice that Gaza is not alone. It has a major Islamic power on its side, which has the courage to respond, deter, and punish the occupier.

(It should be noted that most of the non-home-made rockets and arms used by the Palestinian resistance came from Iran. Not a single Arab state, other than Syria, provided a single bullet to support it.)

The Palestinians’ steadfastness and brave resistance in Gaza, coupled with the latest Iranian strike, reflect a fundamental strategic change that is taking shape in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The tables are turning in favour of the resistance axis for the first time after 75 years of occupation and Arab and Islamic apathy and inaction.

Israeli military retaliation for the Iranian strike could be the beginning of the end of the occupier state. The Iranians have been preparing various options in anticipation of Netanyahu’s reaction. Their counterretaliation will be many times more powerful than Saturday’s missile and drone barrage.