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Israel's ex-intel chief: Biden distrusts Netanyahu, Iran escalation unlikely

Former head of IDF intelligence Amos Yadlin believes Israel should take the time to estimate whether the additional sanctions announced by the US and the EU would indeed affect Iran’s decision-making on its regional aggression and nuclear program.
Retired Israeli general and Executive Director of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies Amos Yadlin attends a session at the Manama Dialogue security conference, Manama, Bahrain, Dec. 5, 2020.

Israel did not take responsibility for the April 19 strike against an Iranian military base in Isfahan, yet information revealed since the attack suggests a highly sophisticated operation that used new technological capabilities, including a long-range missile fired from a fighter jet at great distance from its target. If Israel was indeed behind this operation as US officials have said, it was clearly sending a message to Tehran that the technologies at its disposal are far more advanced compared with Iran’s. 

"The range of possible reactions to the April 13 missile and drone attack by Iran, included on the one end a massive attack against Iran, in Iran, which in turn could have ignited an all-out war, and on the other end avoiding retaliation all together, thus giving up on Israeli deterrence," noted former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin in an interview with Al-Monitor. "The choice that was made — of a limited but precise strike — was an especially sophisticated one. A handful of strikes achieved strategically more than what the Iranians achieved last Saturday with over 300 drones and missiles.’’

Having served as general in Israel’s air force, head of the army intelligence directorate and military attache to the United States, Yadlin is considered one of the country’s top analysts on national strategy and security issues. As such, he headed for several years the Israel's leading Institute for National Security Studies and is currently active on proposing diplomatic solutions for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip. For Yadlin, since Israel decided not to strike immediately, when the Iranian missiles and drones were still in the air, the precise strike on Isfahan, if indeed carried out by the Israel Defense Forces, was a judicious choice. 

The interview with Amos Yadlin was edited for length and clarity.

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