Iran says it won’t retaliate for attack attributed to Israel

Iran has not directly accused Israel nor has Jerusalem claimed responsibility for the attack.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Following a drone strike at a military base in Iran on Friday morning, Iranian officials said they do not plan to retaliate and claimed that “infiltrators” were responsible, not mentioning Israel by name.

Iran has not accused Israel nor has Jerusalem claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Iranian official told state media, “The foreign source of the incident has not been confirmed. We have not received any external attack, and the discussion leans more towards infiltration than attack.”

Some commentators have suggested that Iran is reluctant to identify Israel as responsible for the strike to avoid having to follow up on threats issues shortly before the incident.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said hours before the strike that Tehran would deliver a “severe response” to any attack on its soil.

Some Israeli sources have said that the aim of the strike was to retaliate in a limited way for Iran’s attack against Israel earlier in the week as well as to send a message that Israel was prepared militarily rather than to cause damage.

One media source likened it to a biblical story of the future King David removing a scrap from the robe of an enemy rather than killing him.

Although Israel has often adhered to the principle of “plausible deniability” regarding its strikes, this policy didn’t prevent Iran from launching 350 missiles and drones earlier in the week as a retaliation for the killing of an IRGC general in Damascus on April 1.

However, some Israeli government officials appeared to have removed the mask on social media.

Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir tweeted the single word “Lame!” presumably to describe the drone strike, and was reportedly criticized by advisers of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for doing so.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid called Ben Gvir’s post “an unforgiveable one-word tweet” and launched into an extensive criticism that belied his apparent, primary concern that the tweet might have violated discretion over the source of the strike.

Likud MK Tally Gotliv also broke the tradition of discretion and posted on X about the strike saying Israel could “proudly hold its head up high.”

Netanyahu confidant Natan Eshel told journalist Ben Caspit, “Nobody wants war with Iran right now.”

“We proved to them that we can infiltrate and strike within their borders and they weren’t able to inside ours. The messages are more important than the grandstanding. We currently have more important tasks both in Gaza and Lebanon,” he added.