Israel should prepare for an Iranian counterattack following a series of mysterious incidents at important infrastructure in the country, Amos Yadlin (pictured), a former general in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, warned.
Critical infrastructure in Iran experienced several damaging incidents, explosions and fires, over the past week, including an explosion at the Natanz nuclear site, which sources say caused the worst damage to Iran’s nuclear weapons project since the 2010 Stuxnet cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, attributed to Israel and the US.
A fire broke out at a power station in the city of Ahvaz, in southwestern Iran, on Saturday, damaging a transformer. On Thursday, a fire broke out at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. On Tuesday, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in Tehran, which officials claimed was caused by a gas leak. On June 26, an explosion occurred near the Parchin military and weapons development base that authorities say was caused by a gas leak.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jareeda on Friday reported that fire at the Natanz facility was the result of an Israeli cyberattack, and that Israeli F-35 stealth fighters had actually bombed the Parchin military base outside Tehran.
Asked about the incidents on Sunday morning, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz told IDF Radio that Israel “will do everything possible to prevent Iran from spreading terror and weapons – but I do not refer to one incident or the other.”
“Will the Iranians continue to attribute the events to accidents or, as is now the case, will change their tone and point to the perpetrators? This has a heavy bearing on the response,” Yadlin cautioned.
If Israel is accused by Iran, it must be operationally prepared for the possibility of an Iranian response, possibly in the cyber arena, a missile attack from Syria, or an overseas terror attack, the former IDF general said.
Iran has previously used all three methods to attack the Jewish state.
Commenting on attacks attributed to Israel on Iranian targets in Syria last month, Yadlin warned that these events are occurring in the midst of a local currency crash in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, painful US sanctions, and a severe economic crisis in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Public criticism against the authorities is awakening” and “frustration with the regimes’ failures is rising. The economic crises could cause the regimes to act with greater restrain, but it could also lead them to take more aggressive action in order to distract their citizens with an external conflict,” he said.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA published an editorial Thursday threatening that “if there are signs of hostile countries crossing Iran’s red lines in any way, especially the Zionist regime (Israel) and the United States, Iran’s strategy to confront the new situation must be fundamentally reconsidered.”