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Former Defense Secretary Criticizes ‘Deafening’ Silence Following Israel’s Strike on Iran

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper (Credits: PBS)

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper described Iran’s silence as “deafening” after Israel launched an attack close to a major air base and nuclear site in Isfahan on Friday. “The silence from both parties is deafening this morning,” Esper, who served under former President Trump, said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday.

“The fact that no one is discussing what occurred.” “So, in my opinion, this seems to be the end of it for the time being. But we’ll see,” he went on to say. Despite reports of explosions near the air base, Iran’s air defense systems were activated, but both parties downplayed the attack’s importance in the following hours.

Israeli officials told The New York Times that it was a limited reaction intended to prevent an escalation of tensions with Iran, especially since it did not cause huge harm to Iranian military sites. An Iranian official told Reuters that there were no plans to retaliate against Israel.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper (Credits: NY1)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated during a news conference in Capri, Italy, that the US “has not been involved in any offensive operations” when asked about the suspected Israeli air raids, calling them “reported events.”

The US informed Group of Seven ministers “at the last minute” about the drones, according to Italy’s foreign minister, but there was “no sharing of the attack by the US.” Esper believes that the Israeli attacks, which were a response to Iran’s retaliatory strike the Saturday before, were only meant to demonstrate the nation’s capabilities.

“The message is that we can touch you, we can reach deep into Iran, and we can strike susceptible locations because Isfahan, as your reporters noted earlier, is home to a portion of the Iranian nuclear complex,” he stated.

Mark Esper (Credits: Vox)

The Isfahan air base has long been home to Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats. The facility also operates three Chinese-supplied research reactors and fuel production for the country’s civilian nuclear program.

After Iran launched about 300 ballistic and cruise missiles and explosive drones at Israel, tensions are still high. Although Israel’s defense system largely defeated it, it raised concerns that the conflict may spread following an Israeli strike that killed high-ranking Iranian commanders in Syria.

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