Report: Security officials expect more Iranian attacks on Israeli ships, believe IRGC wants to avenge Qassem Soleimani.
By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner
Israel’s security establishment believes Iran will attempt more attacks like Friday’s explosion on an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman, and that Israel will have to retaliate.
Israeli news site Walla reported Sunday that security officials have concluded that Friday’s attack was intended as a warning. The attackers “did not intend to sink” the ship, one said, “but rather to tell Israel about their future intentions.” Further attacks are expected to be attempted in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
The security establishment now believes that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) naval force attacked the ship in order to avenge the US assassination of the late IRGC head Qassem Soleimani, as well as the killing of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in what is believed to have been an Israeli operation. The ranks of the IRGC are apparently in a state of ferment due to Soleimani’s assassination.
The security establishment is apparently determined to respond if its assessment proves correct.
“Israel cannot be restrained over the incident,” a senior official said. “This is a very serious operation.”
Also on Sunday, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi addressed the attack, saying it demonstrated the extent of the Iranian threat.
“Just this past weekend,” he said, “we received a reminder … of one of the biggest threats in the region, Iran.”
“We received a reminder that Iran not only poses a nuclear threat, but spreads terrorism and conducts terrorist attacks against civilian targets,” Kochavi asserted.