Israel sending ‘strong message’ to Iran that nuclear facilities ‘within range’ of missiles | EXPRESS UK

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Israel sending ‘strong message’ to Iran that nuclear facilities ‘within range’ of missiles | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.

EXCLUSIVE: Israel and Iran have been at loggerheads for weeks over the ongoing war in Gaza, with a strike on Tehran’s consulate in Syria exacerbating tensions.

Israel wanted to send a “strong message” to Iran to signal its nuclear facilities are easily accessible to its missiles, a former intelligence operative claimed.

Iran confirmed on Friday morning it had shot down three drones amid reports of a potential missile strike in the Isfahan area, which is home to several of Tehran’s nuclear resources and one of its main airbases.

Despite speculation on the origin of the strike, a senior Iranian official said investigations were still ongoing to establish the source of the attack – stating the Islamic Republic was not preparing an “immediate response.”

The regime also confirmed the nuclear facilities were “safe” and no major damage had occurred.

Former intelligence officer Avi Melamed told the Daily Express Israel was the likely perpetrator and suggested the move served to signal Iran’s nuclear facilities are comparatively easy to target.

Melamed said: “Israel’s strike on Iran projects deterrence, sending the strong message to Tehran that Isfahan, and the Iranian nuclear centres in its vicinity, as well as the entire country of Iran, are within range for Israeli counterstrikes should it further escalate.

“The Israeli strike’s intended limited impact both showcases Israel‘s restraint and resolve to respond to Iran’s strike last weekend while also not giving the regime the excuse to escalate further.”

Isfahan is home to sites associated with Iran’s nuclear programme, including the underground Natanz enrichment site – which has been repeatedly targeted by suspected Israeli sabotage attacks.

The attack on Iran came nearly a week after it launched a volley of drones and cruise and ballistic missiles at Israel in retaliation against the death of two of its top generals in an air raid on its consular compound in Damascus, Syria on April 1.

Melamed argued Tehran’s statement about not planning an immediate response suggests the regime is not eager to escalate the already tense situation in the region.

He added: “It’s likely for this reason that Israel chose to target an airbase, in response to the successful Iranian hit on the Israel Air Force’s Nevatim base Sunday morning.

“The Regime has already started to signal its disinterest in further escalating by denying Israeli success and minimising the impact of the strike.

“That could seemingly indicate a likely end to the current direct exchange of fire between Iran and Israel.”

Regional tensions have increased since the start of the latest Israel-Hamas war on October 7, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad — two militant groups backed by Iran — carried out a cross-border attack that killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others.

Israel responded with an offensive in the Gaza Strip that has caused widespread devastation and killed more than 33,900 people, according to local health officials.

Israel sending ‘strong message’ to Iran that nuclear facilities ‘within range’ of missiles | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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