Iran’s measured response signals hope for deescalation amidst rising tensions with Israel

Tehran has downplayed the Israeli strikes in Isfahan on Friday morning, signalling a reluctance to escalate hostilities further and indicating no plans for retaliation.

The recent exchange of hostilities began when Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in retaliation for an attack on its consular annex at the embassy in Syria, which Iran attributed to Israel. Despite most Iranian strikes being intercepted, concerns of a broader regional conflict heightened, particularly in the wake of Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

However, the scale of the attack in Isfahan was limited, and Iran’s response was notably restrained. Iranian media and officials referred to the explosions as the result of Iran’s air defenses intercepting three drones over Isfahan, avoiding direct attribution to Israel and thereby sidestepping the need for immediate retaliation.

A senior Iranian official conveyed to Reuters that there were no plans to retaliate against Israel for the incident, emphasising the lack of confirmation regarding the foreign origin of the attack. This measured response suggests a desire by Iran to deescalate tensions and mitigate the impact of the attack.

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