Officials from the United States’ allies in Europe and the Gulf are said to be preparing for imminent Iranian attacks on Israeli or Jewish sites around the world in retaliation for the assassination of the country’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last month.
“In the past year, agents linked to Israel and the U.S. have killed Qasem Soleimani, the top commander of Iran’s regional operations in the Middle East; Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iran’s top ally in Iraq; multiple Iranian and allied Hezbollah commanders in Syria; Abu Mohammed al-Masri, a top al-Qaeda official believed to be living in Tehran; and, most recently, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,” according to a report by Business Insider.
While the United States took very clear responsibility for the drone strike which killed both Soleimani and al-Muhandis – which reportedly utilized Israeli intelligence – Jerusalem has not publicly admitted to its role in any of the other killings, except for the strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah commanders in Syria.
Hard-liners within the Tehran regime are furious at the course of events and have demanded revenge against U.S. or Israeli targets – potentially, preferably even both.
A European diplomatic source told Business Insider on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic, “Iran has two conflicting policies in place: Patience in responding to Israeli provocations but also the national need to project the ability to deter such attacks.”
Israel has placed its diplomatic missions around the world on high alert as the country’s intelligence services assess that the likelihood of reprisals in the next few weeks is high.
Gulf states – particularly the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – with which Israel recently signed normalization agreements and which have already drawn thousands of business people and tourists – are thought to be top Iranian targets.
Although Iran’s leaders are said to favor a presumptive President-elect Joe Biden administration, acting precipitately prior to his expected inauguration on January 20, could lead to heavy U.S. and/or Israeli reprisals.
In response to Soleimani’s killing at the beginning of the year, Iran opted for a limited response, launching ballistic missiles at an Iraqi base used by the U.S. Army, wounding more than 100.
Many security analysts, however, assess that it was a token face-saving gesture and that the actual retribution for such a high profile casualty has yet to emerge.
Source » ynetnews