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Israel blowing up targets in Iran, hoping to force a confrontation before Trump can be voted out in November

By Mitch Prothero

July 18, 2020 "Information Clearing House" - Israel is involved in an extended campaign to pressure or damage Iran before President Donald Trump can be voted out of office in the November election, a former Israeli defense official and a current European Union intelligence official told Insider.

Iran has seen weekly incidents, including explosions at a missile-production facility on June 22; the Natanz nuclear facility, Iran's largest uranium-enrichment center, on July 2; and an important shipyard in the port city of Bushehr on Wednesday.

These attacks have put the country on edge, with nearly daily reports of fires, explosions, and other mishaps treated as potential foreign sabotage.

A Middle Eastern official told The New York Times earlier this month that Israel's intelligence services were responsible for the nuclear-facility explosion. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said at a press conference on July 5 that in regard to Iran, "we take actions that are better left unsaid."

The Israeli government's ongoing policy on Iran is clear, the former official added.

"It's been decided to follow the Trump administration's lead of exerting 'maximum pressure' on the Iranians," they said, referencing the US's economic-sanctions policy directed toward Iran.

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'Maximum pressure, minimal strategy'

The attacks appear to be part of a campaign of "maximum pressure, minimal strategy," said the EU intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they cannot be named discussing active intelligence matters. Their identity is known to Insider.

The source said Iran could be considering a rash response after exhibiting relative patience in the wake of the January assassination of top commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike.

"It's one thing to ask hard-liners to take the long view on an incident like Soleimani in light of the worldwide COVID crisis and a host of other factors," the official told Insider, referring to the shift in global attention to the coronavirus pandemic. "It's another thing to conduct a rapid series of operations without a strategy, and I fear the Israeli plan here is to provoke an Iranian response that can turn into a military escalation while Trump remains in office."

With a broad belief among America's allies that Trump is unlikely to win reelection, Israel's apparent shift in tactics toward high-pressure "kinetic" operations seem to reflect a belief that under a Biden administration, there would be a move to save the 2015 nuclear deal that had been scuttled by Trump.

"There would be a lot less appetite for adventures and secret missions to blow up nuclear facilities under a Biden administration," said the EU official.

Copyright 2020 Insider Inc. All rights reserved. - "Source" -

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See also

Iran 'will respond' to explosions blamed on Israel, top US general says

Israel sabotage in Iran? Iranian professor brings update on Middle East & North Africa


Israel likely behind mysterious explosions in Iran, experts

Iran will 'show it has upper hand' if Israel continues Syria bombings

Fact or fiction? Report: Iran has already decided to strike back against Israel



The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.




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