Iran: “The matter can be deemed concluded.” Israel: “No it can’t.”

Since last weekend, Israel has faced a dilemma in knowing how to take action in response to the hundreds of missiles fired at it last weekend, and then agree with Iran that the matter is concluded. Action taken must be calibrated to prevent Iran from changing its mind. There is an escalation ladder the Israelis can climb. Too high, and it’s war. Too low and their decades-long strategy of hard deterrence is weakened.

Overnight, Israel began to climb the ladder. An Israeli missile has hit Iran, two US officials confirmed to CBS News. Iranian state media has described a small number of explosions, which it says resulted from Iran’s air defences hitting three drones over the city of Isfahan. But state media has played down the extent of the damage – which is, as yet, unknown – and, notably, it has refrained from naming Israel, instead referring to the incident as an attack by “infiltrators”. The central province of Isfahan is home to a large airbase, a major missile production complex and, crucially, several nuclear facilities. However the global nuclear watchdog says no nuclear sites were damaged. Israel is yet to officially comment on the incident.