The explosiion at a military facility in Isfahan, Iran, January 28, 2023

As US and Israeli officials confirm Israel’s drone strike on a military facility in central Iran last weekend, I joined a panel on France 24 to debate the motives and the significance for Israel, Iran, the US, and the Middle East.

The discussion ranges from Israel and Iran to the stalled Iranian nuclear talks to Tehran’s increasing isolation and economic problems. We also consider other regional developments from Israel-Palestine to Azerbaijan, as well as any linkage of the Israeli strike with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The other panellists are Barbara Slavin of the Stimson Center, Ely Karmon of Israel’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, and Matthew Brodsky of The Gold Institute.

“Israel Carried Out Drone Attack on Iran Military Facility”

Iran’s leaders have precious few friends left. It is now being forced to rely more and more on Russia.

What you saw this weekend was both a military and a political message.

It was a military message from the Israelis, “If you continue to make missiles, we will hit you.”

And it’s a political message: “If you put all your chips on Russia, providing drones to kill Ukrainian civilians and strike energy infrastructure, you will pay a price.”

The Iranians have a difficult decision: do they double down on this, risking the breakdown of their system, or do they step back.