Pakistan May Have Just Shown the World How to Deal with Iran

Last week, Iran fired missiles into Syria, Pakistan, and Iraqi Kurdistan—claiming to target Islamic State affiliates in the first two, and, less credibly, a “Mossad headquarters” in the third. Iraq and Syria are both countries whose governments are beholden to Tehran, and in which Iranian forces and proxy militias have an overwhelming presence. But Pakistan, a nuclear power, is a very different case. Islamabad responded with aerial strikes on the portion of Baluchistan that lies within the Islamic Republic—to parallel the ayatollahs’ attack on Baluch groups in Pakistan.

Jonathan Schanzer comments:

It is certainly worth noting that this is the first time a Sunni country has fired back at the [Iranian] regime after a provocative action. Some might even say this could serve as a roadmap for the Sunni states that continue to suffer from Iran’s hegemonic designs on the region. But Pakistan is not at all similar to a weak Gulf Arab state. It is in another league. It’s a nuclear power, after all.

Still, one could argue that Islamabad has just showed the world how to respond to Iranian aggression. The Pakistanis fired after being fired upon, and the Iranian regime has backed down, at least for now. Whether we would see the same reaction by the regime after military action from the U.S., Israel, or a coalition in the Middle East is hard to say.

Islamabad is not going to swoop in and put a stop to the Iranian regime’s aggression across the Middle East. So if the Biden administration wants to prevent a wider war, it’s time to address the source of the chaos. It all started and ends with the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Iran, Pakistan, U.S. Foreign policy


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security