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
Iran has seen weekly incidents, including explosions
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
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
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
economic-sanctions policy directed toward Iran.
'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
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
"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
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