The Iranians responded quickly to the Israeli strike, launching a barrage of Shahab-3 ballistic missiles (based on the North Korean Nodong-1 missile) at Israeli targets, including the country’s largest city, Tel Aviv. Then they discussed their political goals.

The most immediate of these was the desire to rebuild the nuclear programme, preferably to a level “beyond what it was on the eve of the strike.” Given their newfound status as victims of an attack, another priority was to have the sanctions on Iran lifted; and to have sanctions placed on Israel for its “unprovoked act.”

They also decided to offer Jordan and Egypt extensive aid packages to cancel their peace treaties with Israel, before debating a key dilemma: whether or not to attack US targets. With Iran’s considerable influence in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention its huge presence in the Gulf, the Iranians could cause huge problems for Washington.

In the end, though, the decision was taken to refrain; Washington was one more complication they didn’t need.