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After Israel strike, time to reset diplomacy on Iran’s nuclear program

Al-Monitor’s coverage of the regional crisis from Iran, Israel, Syria, Washington and more.
Motorists drive their vehicles past a billboard depicting named Iranian ballistic missiles in service, with text in Arabic reading, "The honest [person's] promise" and in Persian, "Israel is weaker than a spider's web," in Valiasr Square in central Tehran on April 15, 2024.

Iran-Israel tensions can’t continue like this 

Here are four quick thoughts, picking up on last week’s column, "Iran can’t win in response to Israeli killing of IRGC leaders." Since then, Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel April 13 in retaliation for an April 1 strike on its consulate in Syria widely attributed to Israel, which killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel, including two commanders.

Israel hit back with strikes around Isfahan today, in what many see as a response that allows Tel Aviv to say it hit back against a direct Iranian attack, while putting the recent round of back-and-forth attacks on a de-escalatory trajectory, as has been advised by the Biden administration. 

This round was too close to the griddle regarding a regional escalation. That both sides seemed to want to dial it down was both encouraging and unlikely to be repeated. There should be some lessons learned for next time, given the risks. Four quick thoughts:

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