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– It may seem that they have taken a few steps back from the brink – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

– It may seem that they have taken a few steps back from the brink – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

After Israel attacked Iran on Friday night, the two arch rivals in the Middle East were very reticent to comment on what happened.

Neither Israeli nor Iranian authorities provided official confirmation of the attack.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi did not mention a single word about the attack when he delivered a speech in Tehran on Friday, according to Reuters. Agence France-Presse.

Israel's silence in particular is noteworthy, says Lieutenant Colonel and Head of the Land Forces Department at the Swedish War College, Sigbjørn Halsen.

– Complete silence from the official side. There are no videos. There is no evidence of an attack that would force an Iranian response, the expert in military theory tells NRK.

This is how Iranian state television described the situation last night.

Photo: Iran Press TV

Conflicting messages

The Israeli attack targeted the city of Isfahan, 35 miles south of Tehran. There are important military installations and a large air base here.

There have also been reports of explosions elsewhere in Iran, but their extent is unclear.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says no damage has been reported at the large nuclear plant outside Isfahan.

The Israeli attack came after the Iranian attack last weekend, when Iran launched more than three hundred missiles and drones at Israel.

Different accounts of the attack

Meanwhile, there are completely different interpretations about what actually happened last night, depending on which party you listen to.

A source said that an Israeli fighter jet outside Iranian airspace fired three missiles at targets on the ground in Iran American ABC News.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian It says Iran shot down “small drones” Reuters reports.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said, according to the news agency, that the downing of small drones did not result in any injuries or deaths.

Sigbjorn Halsen, lieutenant colonel at the Military College.  Here on a visit to Dagsnytt 18.

On the couch outside Dagsnytt 18 in NRK. Sigbjorn Halsen was a guest here on Friday, and the topic was developments in the Middle East.

Expert: Iran underestimates this

– They seem to be downplaying the situation, saying that this is an insignificant and unsuccessful attack, says Halsen.

From Iran's perspective, the attack itself does not necessarily trigger a response from Iran, which is what they previously said they would do, the lieutenant colonel says.

– It makes it possible to end this cycle and not enter the spiral of escalation, which could have been the result, Halsen says.

He describes this as “the coercion of chess-like movement.”

– In this case, it means that neither side really wants war. But by outmaneuvering each other, they still end up in a situation where it escalates into a regional war.

A man balances on a line on the beach in Tel Aviv, April 19, 2024

A man balances on a line on the beach in Tel Aviv, a day after people woke up to news of the Israeli attack on Iran. Experts believe that both Israel and Iran are balancing between leaving a mark and avoiding regional conflict.

Photography: Ahmed Al-Gharbally/AFP

– Balance on the edge of a knife

Hani Egen Roslin is a special advisor to the Defense Staff and wrote her doctorate on Israeli defense.

– It's a rather interesting development, because it balances on a knife's edge, Roslin tells NRK.

It indicates that both sides are balancing between leaving a mark and escalating the conflict itself.

– This is of course a power game, as two countries carry out deterrence and military deployment operations in the Middle East.

Hani Egen Roslin

Hane-Ejen Roslin is an author and has written several books about Israel.

Photo: Ruth Synovi Barsten/NRK

Expert: He wants to create room for work

Lieutenant Colonel Halsen says that by withholding information, the parties themselves can “develop their own view” of what happened.

This way they can have space to work.

– Iran could avoid responding to the attack, although it said it would do so earlier. The expert says that Israel can say at the same time that it responded to the attack, and that it was sufficient retaliation.

– But by not exaggerating talk about the attack itself, Iran is provided with room to maneuver to calm the situation.

A photo of Iranians in Isfahan Province taken on April 19, 2024 after the Israeli attack on Iran

Iranians rest on the banks of a river in Isfahan province, the day after the Israeli counterattack.

Photography: Rasoul Shojaei/IRNA/Wana/Reuters

Silent also from USA

Even in the United States, a staunch ally of Israel, little will be said about the attack from an official standpoint.

The White House did not comment on the attack during a press conference on Friday evening.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the attack during a summit in Italy of G7 nations on Friday afternoon.

Blinken said that the United States “did not participate in any offensive operation.”

– I will not talk about reports related to these events. “All I can say is that we have our share, and everyone who is part of the G7, is that our focus is on de-escalation,” Blinken said.

This is what it looked like in Jerusalem when Iran attacked with missiles and drones last weekend. The video clip was filmed by Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson.

It's about deterrence

Hales says there is still a significant risk that the situation could escalate. But the expert in military theory confirms that we could have been in a worse situation now, if the Israeli attack on Iran had been more extensive.

He says that the developments of the past 24 hours may indicate that the parties want alternatives other than fueling the conflict.

– It may seem as if Israel and Iran have taken a few steps back from the brink of the abyss on which they were standing a few days ago, Halsen says.

The presenter says that the situation is mainly related to Israel's desire to obtain what he calls a “credible deterrent effect” against Iran.

At the same time, Iran wants to appear as a strong player in confronting other militias with which it cooperates in the Middle East.

– In fact, this is political communication, where states use violence. This is what both parties are trying to achieve.

04/19/2024 at 22.43

04/19/2024 at 23.42

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