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I was just on MSNBC with Jen Psaki a short time ago, along with Karim Sadjapour, who is one of the best analysts on Iran. Karim's take is that Iran doesn't want a confrontation with Israel but needed to respond to the embassy attack in a big way. However the fact so many of the missiles and drones were show down doesn't exactly make Iran look strong. That is exactly what James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence said this morning - the war Iran telegraphed its plans, used slow moving drones that Israel and its allies were "the whole way they went about this was very deliberate, very measured...which indicates Iran doesn't want a wider war.

Everyone this morning is trying to predict where this goes and the ball is in israel's court. The Israeli war cabinet is meeting right now- but pretty clear from call between Biden and Netanyahu and the messaging coming from Washington on the Sunday talk shows that the US is urging Israel to stand down for now and not retaliate out of fear of escalating a major regional war.

John Kirby, a top White House spokesman on national security matters - and other current and former U.S. officials and diplomats in the national security space went to great lengths to talk about how well Israel defended itself against the Iranian attack, and reiterated that the international community stood by Israel's side to minimize the impact The message: the attack was unsuccessful because Israel has created deterrence against Iran. As we spoke about last night....the US wants Israel to "take the win."

I do think Israel will respond - maybe not in the next day or two - but will probably take out another IRGC facility. The question is whether they can respond in a way that doesn't create a series of tit for tat retaliations that escalate into a larger conflict involving Iranian proxies.

We will keep this threat open for the next few days as developments continue. Please weigh in with your questions, thoughts, etc. I will have something fuller on Tuesday pulling all of these thread together and connecting the dots to the war in Gaza and larger geopolitical challenges with Russia and China.

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I will be in BBC live in a few minutes if anyone feels like tuning in.

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Apr 14·edited Apr 14Author

Saudis and Jordanians have shot down Iranian drones, after making clear to Iran not to use their airspace. U.S. also shot drones down.

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Apr 14·edited Apr 14Author

Remember that Iran went to UN - after the embassy attack and said it was going to respond and then would consider the matter closed. After launching the drones Iranian mission to UN just released this statements:

"The matter can be deemed concluded," it said. "However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!"

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From Israel’s ambassador to U.S. Michael Herzog on X

State of Israel has come under an unprecedented regional attack, including hundreds of missiles and UAVs, launched by Iran from its territory and assisted by its proxies.

Iran has been the most destabilizing force in the Middle East for decades and is responsible for the violent escalation the region has seen, beginning on October 7th and ever since. It should - and must - be held accountable.

Israel is deeply grateful to the United States for its steadfast support and ironclad commitment to its security at this critical moment.

Israel will do whatever it takes to defend itself.

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This is from Ronen Bergman, a NYT reporter. I’m in a chat group of his. In my opinion, he is the best Porter on Israeli intelligence, hands-down. He is the author of “Rise and Kill First,” the definitive account of the development of Israel’s Mossad.

*Iran is operating a clandestine smuggling route across the Middle East, employing intelligence operatives, militants and criminal gangs, to deliver weapons to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The goal is to foment unrest against Israel by flooding the enclave with as many weapons as it can.*

*An exclusive NYTimes report:*

[free link:]

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/09/world/middleeast/iran-west-bank-weapons-smuggling.html?ugrp=m&unlocked_article_code=1.jE0.uxfx.7gDc2kdLkcAD&smid=url-share.

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From IDF: Attached is a video announcement of the IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, regarding missiles launched from Iranian territory: https://bit.ly/3vQWvVy

Attached is an English translation of the announcement:

A short while ago, Iran launched missiles from its territory toward the territory of the State of Israel.

Please be alert and act according to the Home Front Command’s guidelines.

The Home Front Command's alert system can provide real-time alerts in areas of danger.

I remind you that no matter where the threat is launched from, when an alarm sounds you must enter the shelter and wait there for no less than ten minutes.

We will update in real-time if you are required to stay there for a longer period.

The Aerial Defense Array is fully operational and is intercepting threats wherever required, even at this very moment. At this time, numerous IAF planes are in the air, ready to counter any threat.

You may hear explosions from interceptions or debris falling.

Since there are a variety of threats, the alerts may be issued across wide areas.

I urge you to refrain from spreading unverified rumors and reports.

Please stay updated with the announcements of the IDF Spokesperson and the official guidelines of the Home Front Command.

Continue to act responsibly and calmly as you have been and adhere to the instructions.

We are strong and capable of handling this event.

The IDF will do whatever it takes to protect the citizens of the State of Israel.

In the next hour, I will appear here again and provide updates on any developments.

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I think we need to see what the extent of the Iranian attack is, whether there are any casualties and how Israel responds. If it’s a “one and done“ and Iran then stands down, and there are few Israeli casualties, then Israel may not feel the need to respond and I think it will be easier to de-escalate. But if Israel then responds, its harder.to climb down.

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And then can I ask you to look into your crystal ball and speculate on the scenario of an escalation based on this drone attack? The US military is shooting down drones as I type this, so we are locked and loaded apparently. “We” being the US.

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I really believe the US knew what to expect and shared this with allies - which is why most of them have been shot down without incident and there have been few casualities or injuries. Iran says it is finished,. So the ball is in Israel's court now as to whether it escalates further. We won't see a response from the U.S or anyone else.

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Apr 14Liked by Elise Labott

We all know that this is not the first attack by Iran on Israel, Jews or on the US. The attack on the US marines barracks in Lebanon, the kidnapping and murder of an American general in Lebanon, the bombing of the Jewish center in Buenos Aires, to name just a few without even mentioning Iran’s terror proxies in Lebanon, Hezbollah. Imagine, say, Mexico would attack the US the same way Iran attacked Israel, because e.g. the US had killed a drug lord in Mexico. What would the US do? Complain to the UN?

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No I’m just saying the US is going to urge restraint here. I’m certainly not justifying what Iran did last night -far from it- but the only thing that was unexpected was the size of the attack. Everyone knew this response coming down to the trajectory - which is why they were able to shoot the majority of them down.

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Why are all these conflicts getting worse under Biden, even though the “experts” said that trump would start world war 3 and the “adults are back in charge” with the biden administration?

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Such a good question. There is a not irrational line of thought that Hamas - and Iran and its other proxies - wouldn't be so bold if Trump was in office because he is so unpredictable (madman theory!) Israel would also be somewhat restrained, I think.

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How can anything be de-escalated , what are some of the leading thoughts on this. Thank you.

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President Biden warned Iran to stand down after the Israeli strike in Syria, signaling that intel indicated an imminent retaliation. Do you think Biden also knew of the Syrian strike in advance? If so, would he object? And, if he did, do you think Israel went ahead anyway?

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The Washington Post had an interesting article this week that suggests U.S. did not know about the strike and Defense Secretary Austin told the Israeli defense minister the Bide admin was angry that Israel didn't give them Washington heads up, because it wasn't able to fortify U.S. troops deployed in the region. They probably didn't tell them because Biden would have tried to discourage the attack. Everyone knew Iran would retaliate, so this was about managing the size of the response and the extent of the damage - in order to avoid a major escalation.

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Do you suppose this attack on Israel and our assets in the region would be happening if we had a 600 ship navy and a willingness to use it? I'm concerned we are not capable of responding to this attack. Strength is the most effective deterant.

This attack may be a sign that Iran has a nuclear weapon.

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I think this response was guaranteed. Iran wouldn't feel that it could let this attack go without a response. But all indications are that Iran does not want a full scale war - that is why I believe that it is restraining itself in order to not appear weak, but not to escalate to the extent that things get out of control.

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Elise thank you for this. What kind of impact will this have on the marker next week. Is this priced in ?

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Markets, including the Dow and oil, fell toward the end of the week, so - while we all know I am not an expert - but I think we will probably see a further dip in markets at the open Monday. Apparently traders are looking to gold and treasury bonds now!

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