"We are a Republican government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy. -- Alexander Hamilton

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Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israeli military sites on April 13-14 signals a tectonic shift in the regional balance of power. While the media remains preoccupied with the number of outdated Iranian drones that were shot down during the onslaught, military analysts are far more focused on the way that Iran’s ballistic missiles cut through Israel’s vaunted air defense systems striking sites at the Nevatim and Negev Air Bases.

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Brigadier General Reem Aminoach, a former financial adviser to Israel's military, stated that Israel's defense costs for just the one night that Iran retaliated for the embassy were massive, while Iran spent next to nothing.

"The defense tonight was on the order of 4-5 billion shekels (between $1 and $1.3 billion)," Aminoach estimated as to the cost of defending against the Iranian attack.

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The U.S. Air Force on April 15 deployed 12 B-2 Spirit intercontinental range stealth bombers for a major show of force, with 12 of the service’s small fleet of just 20 aircraft taking part in a large fly-off exercise at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The B-2 has notoriously high maintenance needs that far exceed those of any other combat jet in the world, and availability rates that are particularly low within the American bomber fleet, which makes the deployment of 12 of the aircraft - or 60 percent of the fleet - an exceptional show of force.

Israel launched strikes against Iran early on Friday morning, Israeli and western officials said, in what appeared to be limited retaliatory action for last week’s drone and missile attack by Tehran.

Iran’s air defences shot at incoming targets and explosions were reported near the cities of Isfahan, in central Iran, and Tabriz in the north-west, local authorities and media said. Iranian state media played down the damage from the attacks and Iran lifted flight restrictions imposed overnight.

“Our next response will be immediate and at a maximum level in case the Israeli regime embarks on adventurism again and takes actions against the interests of Iran,” Amir-Abdollahian told CNN’s Erin Burnett in an exclusive interview in New York on Thursday.

A summary of the interview is as follows:

Speaking from the Iranian Permanent Mission at the United Nations, Amir-Abdollahian said, Iran sincerely hoped Israel would not repeat “the previous egregious error.” 

Early on Friday, Iran activated its air defence systems after reports of explosions in Isfahan province. According to Iranian state media, three small drones were shot down over the city of Isfahan.