Illustration by KL./

By Kayhan Life Staff

Reports suggest that following the Israeli air strike on Isfahan’s defense facilities in central Iran on April 19, the authorities of the Islamic Republic were expecting a second wave of attacks. However, as of now, there have been no further military operations against Iran.

The damage to Isfahan’s defense radar system or missile launchers remains unclear, with conflicting reports circulating. While sources such as the New York Times have claimed that a significant portion of the air defense system at the Isfahan Air Base – which is responsible for safeguarding the Natanz Nuclear Facilities — was damaged or destroyed, others, such as CNN, have said that the air base did not sustain significant damage.

Senior commanders of the Iranian armed forces were undoubtedly expecting more intense attacks from Israel. Reports from unofficial sources and videos shared on social media showed that prior to and following the Israeli attack, several planes and helicopters at various border military bases, including the Aerospace Force Base in Kermanshah and Masjed Soleyman, were moved to the Zagros Mountains slopes to shield them from potential Israeli aerial or missile attacks.

There is currently no sign of a second wave of Israeli attack, which has prompted some prominent figures within Israel to criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government for what they perceive as a missed opportunity to weaken Iran’s military capabilities.

Israeli Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir posted a dismissive one-word post   —  “ridiculous” — on “X” in response to the Israeli attack on Iran.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Israel was prepared to launch a significant strike against the Islamic Republic. However, U.S. President Joe Biden and European governments exerted intense pressure on Israel’s war cabinet, leading the Israeli military to refrain from such an operation.

There was even speculation that American officials conveyed a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu warning that if Israel were to conduct a substantial attack on the Islamic Republic, there was a considerable likelihood that the U.S. would halt the delivery of crucial strategic weapons to the country.

An Israeli government official told Kayhan Life: “There has been intense American pressure on Israel in the past few months, with the U.S. attempting to interfere in various aspects of Israeli affairs. This interference has been so extensive that U.S. media has reported it.”

According to another source in the region who spoke to Kayhan Life, the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is primarily focused on Gaza. The source said that senior officials are aware of this situation, and there is a consensus among them.

The military operation against the Islamic Republic was strategically planned so that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu could, behind the scenes, secure approval from Western powers, particularly the United States, to conduct an operation in Rafah.

EU Ministers to Discuss Iran Sanctions

Still, a third source told Kahan Life that Israel had to exhibit flexibility in response to international pressure and reduce its assault on the Iranian regime. However, the source emphasized Israel would inevitably return to confronting the Islamic Republic when the opportunity presents itself “as the core ideologies of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel are deeply ingrained in the DNA of the Islamic regime.”

The reasons for the limited Israeli military operations against the Islamic Republic of Iran could be attributed to several factors. One explanation is an intervention by the Biden administration, which may have discouraged Israel from launching large-scale attacks.

Another possibility is that Israel deliberately designed its operations and negotiated behind-the-scenes deals to minimize escalation with Iran.

A third possibility is that Israel has flexibility and long-term plans in mind, preferring to avoid provoking a full-blown conflict for now. Regardless of the reason, the Islamic Republic appears satisfied for the time being, as internal pressures for “severe revenge” have been eased temporarily.

The conflict between Iran and Israel is a complex issue with differing perspectives. While some people on social media argue that this is a “fake war,” others believe that the Iranian regime’s enmity with Israel is unending and that, eventually, they will clash again.

The second source told Kahan Life that tensions between Israel and Iran have been escalating progressively. They have been crossing each other’s “red lines” one after the other, implying provocative actions by both parties. Also, the interval between their intense conflicts has been shortening.

The following are social-media posts on the reported movements of planes and helicopters at military bases on the Iranian border.

Kayhan London reported in a post on “X” (formerly known as Twitter): “According to reliable sources, helicopters from the Kermanshah and Masjed Soleyman Aerospace Force Base in the western part of the country have been moved to the slopes of the Zagros Mountains because of concerns for potential Israeli attacks,”

According to the Kayhan London post, a video shared on social media on April 20 showed several helicopters camouflaged in agricultural fields near the Bisotun Mountain (Part of the Zagros Mountain range.) It was estimated that approximately 30 helicopters were moved out of the Kermanshah Air Force base.

The post included footage of several helicopters on the ground and in the air. A man off camera said: “Some 20 to 30 helicopters are in the field next to Bisotun Mountain.”

Another post by Kayhan London on “X” said: “According to images circulated online by members of the public, following an alleged Israeli military operation in Isfahan, a launcher for the S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems was moved to a residential complex at the Isfahan Tactical Air Base-8 (TBA-8) out of concern that it might become a target in potential subsequent Israeli attacks.”

The post contained a picture of a mobile missile launcher parked beside a building. The caption read: “A photo shared on April 20 depicted the launcher positioned less than 500 meters away from a residential tower. Concealing military equipment in residential areas can be viewed as employing a ‘human shield’ tactic.”

Fada-Hossein Maleki, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), recently said: “The Islamic Republic has accepted the inevitability of confronting Israel.”

Link to Kayhan.London/Persian

OPINION: The Solution to the ‘Iran Problem’ is Regime Change

Prince Reza Pahlavi : ‘The Alternative to the Islamic Republic is the Iranian nation’