Hungarian Conservative

Islamic Republic of Iran’s Attack Highlights the Threat Israel and the Broader World Is Facing

An element of the Israeli Iron Dome near Jerusalem on 14 April 2024.
An element of the Israeli Iron Dome near Jerusalem on 14 April 2024
Abir Sultan/EPA/MTI
General Amir Avivi, the founder of the Israel Defence and Security Forum, also highlighted in his briefing following the IRI attack that the fact that Israel and its allies intercepted 99 per cent of the rockets ‘showed that Israel could cope with a direct attack from Iran, and can coordinate efficiently with its allies to defend itself.’

As Hungarian Conservative reported, last Saturday evening, on 13 April, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) launched an unprecedented massive retaliatory strike against Israel in response to the Jewish state’s attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus on 1 April. The Tehran attack aimed at Israel involved a massive barrage of over 300 drones and missiles, including at least 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and over 120 ballistic missiles. The Israeli air defence, along with its allies, including the United States, ​​France and the United Kingdom, successfully intercepted 99 per cent of these projectiles before they breached the state’s airspace. However, a few ballistic missiles did make it through the air defences and severely injured a 7-year-old Israeli Bedouin girl and slightly damaged a military base in southern Israel. However, as Danielle Pletka, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. said: ‘This is not the outcome the Islamic Republic of Iran were hoping for.’

The attack has changed the long-established terms of engagement between the two adversarial states. Tensions between Iran and Israel have been simmering for decades as since the 1979 revolution, when the new Iranian regime took an anti-Israeli stance and, as part of its deterrence strategy, has ever since cultivated and financed support for the ‘axis of resistance’ network in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Gaza Strip surrounding Israel’s borders. These Iranian proxies include terrorist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Shi’ite militias in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen.

What was unprecedented on Saturday evening, however, was that the IRI launched its first direct attack on its regional foe from Iranian soil.

As the well-known political commentator of the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro highlighted, ​​with this attack the IRI ‘entered a war directly with the state of Israel’. Shapiro also pointed out that the reason why this time IRI attacked Israel directly is because Israel took out the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its terror operations in Syria, Lebanon, and via Hamas, General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, who had greenlit the Hamas’ massacre on 7 October. Had IRI not responded it would have been seen as weak by its own people

IRI Attack Is a Reminder to Israel’s Shaky Allies of the Threat Israel and the Broader World Faces

As a Times of Israel article pointed out, the IRI attack unintentionally managed to restore the previously wavering US and Western support for Israel, reminding that before the attack Israel had started to become isolated even from its staunchest allies amid its military response to 10/7 in Gaza. This time the United States, the UK and France not only expressed their unequivocal support for Israel, but also actively took part in its defence, using a network of satellites, planes, and radars on the ground and at sea. Even its bordering country Jordan, which has been from the beginning of the war criticizing Israel’s response to 10/7 defended the Jewish state against the IRI’s attack even though it had come under immense pressure from IRI and its allied Shia militias in the recent months and has now been reportedly threatened for its part in defending Israel. As the article put it: ‘There could be no better reminder to Israel’s shaky allies of what is at stake in Gaza for the region and for the world.’

General Amir Avivi, the founder of the Israel Defence and Security Forum, also highlighted in his briefing following the IRI attack that the fact that Israel with its allies intercepted 99 per cent of the rockets, ‘showed that Israel could cope with a direct attack from Iran, can coordinate efficiently with its allies to defend and also will be able to attack and deal with its nuclear program and other capabilities they have.’ General Avivi also pointed out that fifty per cent of the missiles fired from Israel failed either because they fell in Iran or they fell while flying towards Israel, which showed that IRI is not producing really high-quality missiles.

Although the attack has restored support for Israel, according to Ben Shapiro the US government had betrayed its allyship to Israel: reports indicate that the US was approached before the attack about what would happen to make sure that the US would not get involved militarily. According to a Jerusalem Post report, the IRI also informed Türkiye in advance of its planned operation against Israel, and Washington had then responded to Tehran via Ankara that any action it took had to be within certain limits. As Shapiro phrased it:

‘The reason Biden would do that is because he knew Iran had to show its own people it was going to stand up muscularly against the “evil Zionist regime,” and at the same time, Biden did not want this escalating into a full-scale Israeli retaliation. And so the happy medium for him was to greenlight an attack that would cost America billions of dollars in military resources, allow Iran to get away with a massive missile and drone attack on an actual sovereign country, and then tell Israel to stand down.’

The well-known political commentator added that if Donald Trump had been president, instead of the ‘playing both sides of the aisle’ hoping that ‘if you feed the alligator and maybe it will be nice to you’ as the Biden government did he would have intimidated the IRI and the world would be a safer place now.

Israel’s Fight Is With the Islamic Republic of Iran, Not With the People of Iran

In recent days Iranian opposition leaders and activists throughout the world have raised attention to the fact again that the IRI stance on Israel doesn’t represent the majority of Iranian people. Reza Pahlavi, the crown prince of Iran who is living in exile in the United States, wrote on his Facebook post:

‘Khamenei’s war is not Iran’s war or that of the Iranian nation

and his regime have turned Iran into a backward and isolated country, and by involving the nation and the state in another war, they only add to the misery of Iranians.’

An Iranian-American influencer, Erica Le Bon’s video also went viral in which she raised the attention of those who, after the IRI attack against Israel, claimed that it was an act of self-defence on the part of the Islamic regime. She posed the rhetorical question in response:

‘When we were screaming that they were killing Iranian women for not wearing a hijab, where were you? When they were lynching Iranian men from cranes for protesting, where were you? When we were explaining that it’s a terrorist occupying force, where were you? All of a sudden, everyone’s graduated from Instagram school of law to say that it’s a violation of international law and Iran has the right to defend itself.’

Le Bon also asked her followers to be precise and use the term ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’ instead of Iran when talking about the regime, as their actions don’t represent the will of the Iranian people.

The State of Israel has also reassured Iranians that ‘Israel’s fight is with the Islamic Republic of Iran, not with the people of Iran.’

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant: ‘​​​​Israel has no choice but to respond’

The Israeli war cabinet decided to hit back ‘clearly and forcefully’ against IRI with a response designed to send the message that Israel ‘will not allow an attack of that magnitude against it to pass without a reaction.’ However, Israel

neither wants its response to spark a regional war nor to shatter the coalition that helped it defend against Iran’s aggression

and intends to coordinate its action with the US. According to reports, ​​​​​​Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had told his US counterpart following the IRI attack that Israel has ‘no choice but to respond’ to Iran’s attack, given the use of ballistic missiles and added that ‘Israel won’t accept an equation in which Iran responds with a direct attack every time Israel strikes targets in Syria.’

The Biden administration told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States would not participate in an Israeli counter-strike, and along with the US, several other Western countries allied with Israel are urging Netanyahu’s government not to rush into a retaliation against Iran that could lead to a regional war. Together with its European allies Washington wants to toughen economic and political sanctions against Tehran in an attempt to persuade Israel to abstain from violent retaliation. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has spearheaded ‘a diplomatic campaign’ and wrote to 32 countries to ask them to place sanctions on Iran’s missile programme and follow Washington in proscribing its dominant military force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a terrorist group.

General Avivi also highlighted that Israel needs to react to the attack in appropriate timing, rationally and not make it into an honour issue. He emphasized that because the US is not willing to react militarily in coalition with Israel but is willing to reinforce sanctions, the most effective way of sanctioning would be to concentrate on Iran’s economy. General Avivi added that Iran is so worried about its economy that they highlighted that in their attack against Israel they weren’t targeting economic sites but only military bases, which, as the General phrased it, basically sent the message ‘please don’t attack our oil fields’.

Despite Calls from the US and Israel UNSC Failed to Condemn the IRI Attack

Although on 14 April, the United Nations Security Council held a special session on the IRI attack on Israel, where the US and Israel requested to issue a condemnation of the attack, it still failed to issue a statement or vote on condemning the Iranian regime’s aggression. At the session, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, raised attention to the fact that IRI cared little for the lives of Muslims or its religion, as a seven-year-old Israeli girl who was seriously wounded in the attack was Beduin and that the drones had gotten as far as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Erdan held up a video of the drones on top of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound where the Dome of the Rock is located and stated, ‘This video shows how Israel intercepts Iranian drones above the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa Mosque. To Iran, Israel’s annihilation and igniting the region is more important than Islamic holy sites.’

Péter Szijjártó: ‘Hungary stands firmly with Israel during these challenging times’

As Hungarian Conservative has reported, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expressed strong condemnation of Iran’s recent drone and missile attacks on Israel, emphasizing the grave global implications of the conflict for stability, including to Hungary’s security.  Following a meeting of the Defence Council convened in response to the Iranian attack on Israel, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote in a Facebook post: We will spare no effort to safeguard Hungarian families from the threats posed by conflicts worldwide.’

Hungarian Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó also echoed support for Israel and declared in a video message broadcast live that Hungary

strongly condemns the drone and missile attacks on Israel’.

The  Hungarian Foreign Minister also engaged in a telephone conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, where he reiterated his support to his Israeli counterpart. ‘Hungary stands firmly with Israel during these challenging times,’ the Hungarian minister stated. Szijjártó also held discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates. ‘I conveyed to both colleagues Hungary’s hope for the possibility of averting a widespread escalation of the situation. However, achieving this goal will require responsible behaviour from all major players in global politics in the upcoming period,’ Szijjártó wrote in a Facebook post.

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The EU Is (Finally) Shifting its Approach to Iran
General Amir Avivi, the founder of the Israel Defence and Security Forum, also highlighted in his briefing following the IRI attack that the fact that Israel and its allies intercepted 99 per cent of the rockets ‘showed that Israel could cope with a direct attack from Iran, and can coordinate efficiently with its allies to defend itself.’