As expected, Israel has conducted missile strikes close to the cities of Isfahan and Natanz in central Iran, both of which contain important facilities of Iran's nuclear program. Israel has also carried out missile strikes on the Iranian army radar site at Suwayda in Syria and in Iraq.

These strikes obviously had the approval of America’s Joe Biden Administration notwithstanding the theatrics of the United States saying Israel should not respond militarily to the Iranian strikes in Israel.

The US has been extraordinarily quick to ‘clarify’ that Israeli targets in Iran were not nuclear – weren’t these targets chosen in consultation with Washington?

Iran has issued a nuclear warning to Israel since, saying it could review its nuclear policy.

Earlier, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had told his American counterpart Lloyd Austin that Israel has “no choice” but to respond to the unprecedented missile and drone attack launched by Iran in Israel. But the fact is that Israel did have a choice, because Iranian strikes in Israel were in retaliation to the cardinal sin committed by Israel in bombing Iran’s consulate in Damascus and killing two top Iranian military officials.

The Iranian strikes were mainly symbolic and without loss of life. In contrast, a subsequent Hezbollah drone strike has killed 14 Israel soldiers and injured many. Israel did have a choice by way of diplomatic response with the US-led West guaranteed to load Iran with more and more sanctions.

Apparently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ‘no choice’ other than following His Master’s Voice – the POTUS Joe Biden.

The Iranian air strikes in Israel did shatter the myth of invincibility of the IDF for a second time, the first time being the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023. Ironically, both these reverses were brought upon by Netanyahu himself. It is no secret that previous Netanyahu governments had been funding Hamas.

Israel had prior intimation of the Hamas attack on October 7 last year but did not inform the IDF deployed on the border. Moreover, some of the Israeli casualties were due to Israeli fire

Iranian strikes in Israel consisted of over 300 ballistic missiles and drones fired in three waves. Israel claimed 99 percent of these were destroyed, and that only a “small number” of missiles had reached Israel without causing any loss of life.

It later emerged that most of the interception was done by the US, while the United Kingdom has also staked such a claim. The media is full of showcasing Israel’s Iron Dome doing the interception.

But the fact is that Iran’s hypersonic ballistic missiles could not be intercepted by Israel, the US and UK. The claim of no damage caused by Iranian strikes was first broken by Scot Ritter, former US marine corps officer.

The ‘Hebrew Daily’ an Israeli publication reported that Iran did hit three IDF air bases at Nevatim,, Ramon and Hermon causing considerable damage and disrupting air operations.

Scot Ritter has gone further to say that a military response by Israel on Iran would be its nemesis. He also blasted the claim of Israelis being the “superior” race over other humans, based on Biblical myths.

A glimpse of Israeli radicalisation was witnessed on News 18 recently when the Israeli participant Frederic Landau told the anchor not to wear a green-red saree. He received a measured mouthful. Surprisingly, Landau didn’t demand India should remove the green colour from its national flag.

The US-backed Israeli genocide in Gaza has already killed 33,899 Palestinians. But this is not enough for Netanyahu’s insatiable impudence; he has already deployed additional weapon systems for invading Rafah where over 1.3 million Palestinians have been herded together.

Netanyahu’s wish to destroy Hamas completely is the same chimera as the POTUS destroying the Islamic State. This is not possible, both Washington and Tel Aviv know it.

Before the Israeli strike in Iran, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Al Bagheri had said that the Israeli regime needs to understand that in case of another mistake they will not have 12 days and the response will be given not in days or hours but in seconds.

Further destabilisation of the Middle East is on the cards although there is speculation that many Arab states may want to remain aloof in their own interest.

At the same time, Egypt-Israel relations are set to deteriorate. But escalation of the Iran-Israel conflict has the makings of a wider Middle-East conflict, given the China-Iran and Russia-Iran relations.

The US and UK have imposed new sanctions on Iranian military leaders and weapon manufacturers. The G-7 are discussing more sanctions on Iran as well. There is a move to sanction Iranian oil export as well, which is mainly to China.

Escalation of the Iran-Israel conflict and its further spread would suit the American interests; it’s damning effect on the global economy and more disruption of supply chains notwithstanding.

The Red Sea disruption was orchestrated by the Biden Administration – with the Houthi only demanding ceasefire in Gaza.

The US would be hoping to divert at least part Russian attention towards Iran, to relieve the pressure on Zelensky crying and pleading for more ammunition and weapons. But the Iran-Israel conflict would lead to disruption of traffic in the Straits of Hormuz, even its closure for certain periods.

Apparently, Netanyahu is determined to play Zelensky 2.0 for the Biden Administration, primarily because his own survival depends on it, in order to save himself from being prosecuted.

Gideon Sa’ar, Member of the Israel Knesset resigned recently and publicly called for the Netanyahu-led War Cabinet of Israel to be disbanded. But this is not going to happen because Netanyahu has full support of the US-led West.

Hopefully, his increasing impudence will not prove to be Israel’s nemesis, as predicted by Scot Ritter.

Lt General Prakash Katoch is an Indian Army veteran. Views expressed here are the writer’s own.