The first concrete action that Iran took, besides issuing threats, in response to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, was to bombard Israeli military positions on the Golan Heights. Israel, in turn, launched a massive air and missile campaign against Iranian bases in Syria. In the end, Iran was made, as so many enemies had been before, to regret that it had thrown down against the Jewish state.

Why the Iranian attack failed

The first mistake that Iran committed was to attempt to breach Israel’s Iron Dome, the first tier of Israel’s missile defense system.

Most of the missiles Iran launched against Israel were intercepted. A few fell short. The few that got through caused “minimal damage” according to Israeli military officials.

The second mistake that Iran committed was to assume that Israel’s response would be proportional. In fact, the massive air and missile campaign that followed was disproportional, designed to degrade Iran’s capability to operate in Syria at all. How successful the Israeli response was has yet to be determined as of this writing. However, the attack was by all accounts devastating.

What happens now?

What happens next is dependent on what Iran does. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force that is operating in Syria just got a bloody nose.

If Iran decides to do something about it, it will likely be told twice of the folly of going up against Israel, especially now that a president who is friendly to the Jewish State is in office.

Iran is currently racked with civil unrest, thanks to a weak economy and discontent over the corrupt tyranny of the Islamic Republic that seems more interested in fomenting terrorism abroad than helping its own people.

The tens of billions of dollars that the Obama administration granted Iran as a reward for entering the nuclear weapons deal has been used for imperial adventures rather than building infrastructure and creating jobs. Iranians, by and large, would prefer to live in an ordinary country where people are not threatened with being whipped to death for making music videos.

The upshot is that Iran can ill-afford to be on the losing side of a foreign adventure, which it will be if Israel decides to move into Syria in force. The only thing that may prevent an Israeli invasion of its neighbor is the presence of Russian troops. However, how far Vladimir Putin would go to bail out his volatile ally is unknown at best.

In the meantime, the question arises about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Israel, likely with the help of the United States and the Arab Gulf States, is very capable of striking at targets in the Iranian homeland. Iran may bluster and threaten, but it cannot afford to endure such an attack.