How Iran’s 300 Drones & Missiles Failed – But Brags Victory Anyway Despite 99% Of Them Intercepted

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Apr 15 2024
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After almost 2 weeks discussing how to retaliate over Israel’s bold strikes on its embassy in Syria’s capital Damascus, Tehran could not find any option except a direct attack on Israel. To strike the Jewish state from proxies located in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen or Iraq would be not only lame, but ineffective. After all, its proxies have been attacking Israel – without success – since October 7.


The biggest headache was how to satisfy domestic audience, who waited impatiently for Iran Mullahs to avenge the assassination of three generals, including General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the top commander of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC). Already, graffiti on a wall in Tehran mocks – “Israel, they don’t have the balls to seek revenge. Hit them harder next time, Israel, they have wet their pants”.


To save face and to avoid looking weak, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, agreed to strike Israel directly from Iranian soil for the first time. It would send a powerful propaganda that the regime has the balls to attack Israel, known as one of the most powerful military country in the region. As predicted, wild celebrations erupted across Iran when news broke that missiles were on the way to punish the Jews.

Iran Drone and Missiles Attacks - Celebration

More than 300 munitions – 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles – were launched by Iranian forces on Saturday night (April 13). Behind the scene, however, all its proxies as well as the United States – supposedly the Great Satan – were informed of the incoming attack 72 hours before it happened. As a result, American, Israeli and other allied forces easily shot down 99% of them.


From the moment Iranian drones and missiles were launched, they were tracked by early warning radars in Persian Gulf countries linked to the U.S. operations center in Qatar. Those information was then transmitted to fighter jets from several countries participated in the U.S.-led operation to defend the Jewish state, as well as to warships and missile-defense batteries in Israel.


Only a handful of missiles landed in Israel, causing light damage to Nevatim Air Base in the country’s south, which was fully operational within hours. The only injury was a 7-year-old Bedouin Arab girl. In fact, Israel’s multilayered air defense system and fighter jets from  the U.S., the U.K. and France had been waiting for hours for the drones to arrive. Everyone seems to be the winner, taking home their respective trophy.

Israel Iron Dome Missile Defence System

Iran’s top military commanders brag and lie to the gullible citizens that the bombardment of Israel was a “success beyond expectations”, in spite of the fact that 99% of the more than 300 projectiles failed to reach Israeli territory. The Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, quickly declared the operation was finished and the goals were achieved.


Yes, it was incredibly easy to scam the people of Iran, who blindly believed that their home-made missiles and drones had damaged Nevatim Air Base beyond recognition – to the tune of US$100 million worth of damage. If the attack was as successful as claimed, why the Iranian forces did not continue to send thousands more ballistic missiles to annihilate and wipe the Jews off the map, and return the land to Palestine?


It was a complete failure. An Israeli drone strike flattened a building in the Iranian Embassy in Syria and killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In comparison, Iran’s wave of more than 300 kamikaze drones, cruise and ballistic missiles only managed to inflict minor damage on an Israeli military base and killed zero Jews. A marvellous success!

Shahed-136 - Iran Kamikaze Drones

There were speculations that Tehran and Washington were working together to orchestrate the Iranian strike so that Israel won’t be harmed and escalation is prevented, while allowing both Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Joe Biden to claim credits. Perhaps Tel Aviv should be grateful that Iranians are mostly dumb, otherwise it would be tougher to script a retaliation strike that could satisfy the people.


While praising Israel’s remarkable capacity to defend the unprecedented attacks, Biden had made good on his promise of “ironclad” American support to defend Israel. The president also showed his administration could hastily, but effectively, formed an alliance to defeat Iran’s bombardment – even though it was Israeli missile defence systems Iron Dome which did most of the heavy lifting.


Seeking re-election, Biden was bleeding votes in a rematch against Donald Trump. The Democrat presidential nominee, like Barack Obama, has a soft spot for Iran. His handling of the Israel-Iran conflict could score some brownie points if he manages to de-escalate the crisis. Crucially, he doesn’t want oil prices to skyrocket, which could trigger yet another round of fierce inflation.

US Presidential Election 2020 - Donald Trump vs Joe Biden

In the same breath, Israel too could claim victory. It seems the “Little Satan” is not at all isolated, and still has many powerful friends – the U.S., Germany, France, Great Britain and even Jordan and Egypt who had helped to intercept and shoot down Iranian drones. Saudi Arabia too played its role – hosting Western air-defense systems, surveillance and refueling aircraft that was vital for the U.S.-led effort.


Not only Israel can claim it was not alone in the Middle East, the support from Saudi and Jordan also means the Sunni Muslims in the region trusts the Jewish more than Iran-led Shia Muslims. Most of the Iranian drones and missiles were destroyed before they even reached Israeli airspace. Of course, the wealthy Gulf kingdoms could easily argue that they were merely safeguarding their sovereign airspace by intercepting Iranian drones.


However, in spite of victories claimed by all parties – Iran, America and Israel – the Iran’s attack has set a new standard where the Mullahs can now respond with new wave of drones and missiles directly whenever Israel attacks its interests. This red line cannot be accepted by Tel Aviv. While the U.S. and Iran said they did not seek wider conflict, the same cannot be said about Israel.

Iran Drone and Missiles Attacks - Israel Fighter Jet

Israel, already created enough political trouble for Biden, said on Sunday that the “crisis is not over” – suggesting that it was doing re-calculations on retaliations. It was encouraged by the fact that half of the ballistic missiles that Iran launched either failed to launch or fell from the sky before reaching their targets. It wanted to strike while the iron is hot, especially the Iranian nuclear facilities.


But Joe Biden, obviously has no appetite for another Middle Eastern crisis when the Israel-Hamas War is getting worse, reportedly warned Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will not participate in any Israeli counter-attacks against Iran. “You got a win. Take the win,” – Mr Biden reportedly told Mr Netanyahu. Lloyd Austin, the US secretary of defence, has asked that Israel notify Washington ahead of any response against Iran.


Obviously, Biden does not want to lose more American Muslim votes just because of the Jews. Whether Tel Aviv will obediently listen to Sleepy Joe is another matter. After all, when the POTUS warned Tehran “don’t” proceed with the plan to strike, the Iranians did it anyway. So, why should Israel listen to the weak Commander-in-Chief, after he was slapped by the Mullahs?

US President Joe Biden - Clueless

Besides, the U.S. president could be bluffing about not defending Israel again should it retaliate against Iran’s latest attack. Additionally, Iran’s warning to Israel not to retaliate could be interpreted as a bluffing game that Tehran had played its last card and may not respond in the same manner again should the Jewish state suddenly strike deep inside Iran.


Even if Israel agrees not to retaliate, at least for now, it could certainly extract some concessions from the U.S. such as new rounds of military aid and funding, which it could build to be used against Iran at a later stage. It now has the higher ground not to entertain any requests from the White House to a cease-fire deal with terrorist group Hamas.


Tehran might think it had won the battle. But its latest move could backfire. Saudi and its allies can see how Iran can be a very dangerous enemy. The only reason Tehran agreed to restrict its attack, and share information about how it planned to attack Israel is because it has not developed nuclear weapons. Like it or not, it makes Israel more valuable to the Arab states.

Friendship - Israel, United States, Arab Nations


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Hello FT,

This piece has to be one of your worst analyses in geopolitical issues. You are so off-the-mark it is absurd. This piece especially lacks historical astuteness, insight and depth. What you have published is mere to copy-catting western narratives in their fake news media.

Btw, the October 7 attack was a psyop engineered by Israel using Hamas (yes, Hamas is Israel’s stooge) to create an excuse for genocide of Palestinians, and wrestle back land that’s rich in oil and natural gas. (Remember, Israel also carried out a similar psyop on Sept 11, 2001 for U.S. so that they could go to war against Iraq for their oil.)

Anway, Iran carried out a calculated ‘direct counter-attack’ to prove to Israel, and by association U.S. & the collective West!, that it has the capability and fire-power to penetrate its defence. Israel’s ‘iron dome’ had been exposed to be nothing more than a ‘paper shield’ by Iran’s mock attack deploying cheap drones and unarmed, outdated missiles.

The ‘deterrent message’ to Israel and the white-supremacist West is that when push comes to shove Iran can wipe Israel – or any other enemy of theirs – off the map.

The message was clearly, soberly taken note of when dementia-stricken Biden categorically warned terrorist Netanyahu not to retaliate.

But to save Israel’s face, U.S. had just agreed to allow Israel (after much pleading) to carry out a counter-attack against Rafah in Gaza. The joke should be on Israel and U.S., not Iran.

— i have this feeling you won’t be publishing this comment —

You meant Israel and Hamas were working together to kill those poor Palestinians? And Iran didn’t know it, let alone Anwar Ibrahim? Gee, I better go tell the clueless prime minister. Thanks for the tips.

Iran wiping Israel off the map? That would be super-duper interesting. Now that the Jews had struck Iran, I wonder why the Mullahs still pretend that it didn’t happen.

In missiles warfare doctrine is to bankrupt the air defense system. One day attack cost Isreal,Uk,USA et al about usd 1.5b i.e one iron done cost usd 1m vs 1 shahid drone costing usd 20k. Iran attack costing usd 200m. So who is winning. This is how Soviet economy collapse to defence against Us tomahawk. With seperable warheads you cannot stop it all.

Have you seen how US keeps sending missiles to Ukraine? Perhaps you didn’t realize that the US can print money, and provide military aid to Israel free of charge.

Thank you FT for your courage to publish my comment.

Still, give it up on your analysis of the Israel-Iran geopolitical issue.

You’ve got it all wrong by not fact-checking thoroughly.

You’ve relied on the mainstream media for your view on the situation and thus the glaring miss-step. I believe you also hold the view the ‘war’ against Ukraine by US and its NATO allies are winning.

I’ll give it to you, your analysis of local politics is usually spot-on but geopolitics is another matter.

Don’t get upset. Get it right!

Your rebuttal articles on the Israel counter-attack against Iran is just as hysterical as the mainstream media had you believe. It’s all about psy-war and saving face. The common man will swallow the over-blown propaganda win, but an analyst show really know better. TQ.

NATO is winning? You must be new here.

Anyway, thanks for keep coming here to get a daily dose of unreliable news …

FT, you should not dismiss iaam theory on ( October 7 attack was a psyop engineered by Israel using Hamas ….. ) so easily. It is impossible for the Israeli intelligence not to know of the Hamas attack. It is impossible for them not to know of the underground tunnels being built. It is impossible of them not to know of the weapons stockpile, etc etc etc.

In other words it is impossible for their intelligence agency not to know what was going on in their neighborhood or what their neighbors are doing. Israeli intelligence have half a century of experience living there. And there is the US and British intelligence.

That’s what our articles have been saying – Israel knew about the attacks, but allowed it to happen for domestic and geo-political reasons. What iaam was indicating was that Israel and Hamas were working hand-in-glove together.


Let’s be clear i come to FT to entertain myself of your hysterics. When i cannot take any more of your miss-steps, i would post a comment.

Anyway, continue with your antics. Otherwise i’ll fizzle out of boredom. TQ.

“The ‘deterrent message’ to Israel and the white-supremacist West is that when push comes to shove Iran can wipe Israel – or any other enemy of theirs – off the map.” – iaam

So, iaam can you say, what will be the consequences of such an action by Iran, should it become a reality or how do you think the international community would respond if Iran followed through on their threat to wipe out Israel or other enemies – off the map? After the event, will Iran as a country be still there?

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