Iran hit by many recent mysterious explosions: Israel, cyberwars, and shadows
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Iran is reeling this year from the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani on the orders of President Donald Trump of America – to Iran accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian civilian plane that killed 176 individuals. Equally, Turkey in the Idlib province of Syria has killed proxies of Iran. Meanwhile, in May, the Iranian navy accidentally killed many sailors in the Gulf of Oman.
Discontent also continues in Iran and many ordinary Iraqis want this nation to stop meddling into the internal affairs of Iraq. Indeed, late last year Iraqi Shia Muslims even attacked the Consulate of Iran in the holy city of Karbala. Therefore, with discontent still existing internally and in Iraq, the situation is critical for Iran.
Recent mysterious explosions in Iran at a time of huge pressure from the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis is problematic. Currently, just below 12,500 people have died from the coronavirus in Iran. Also, with Iraq now witnessing more coronavirus deaths then interconnectivity is further being strained. Thus recent explosions are putting enormous pressure on Iran while undermining the internal security apparatus of this nation.
Iran is downplaying the explosions for public consumption. Yet information networks mean that many Iranians understand the gravity of the situation.
Of course, fingers are being pointed at Israel and the United States. Other whispers point at a possible Saudi Arabia dimension. An internal angle (Homeland Cheetahs) is also being touted in possible collusion with a national state entity. Hence, the cyberwar is being increased in Iran while all shadows remain hidden, even if Israel is the likely candidate.
In the last few months, various types of explosions have caused a climate of fear in Iran. After all, if you can’t defend yourself internally from so many mysterious attacks, this will highlight the failings of the security apparatus and Iran’s cyber capabilities. Therefore, for a nation that rules by fear when protests break out, this is extremely problematic.
The BBC reports, “Numerous fires have broken out in nuclear facilities, oil refineries, power plants, major factories and businesses across the country.”
The Independent says, “Iran spends an estimated 3 or 4 per cent of its gross domestic product on defense, and allocates a significant part of its government budget towards policing, surveilling, prosecuting and imprisoning an increasingly restless population of 83 million. Yet it could not protect one of its most important sites from sabotage by a foreign power.”
This important site applies to the Natanz centrifuge assembly plant used to enrich uranium. According to reports a crater of roughly ten-meters occurred.
However, it remains unclear if the cause was a bomb planted or a malfunction based on a cyber attack. Either way, with other mysterious explosions, it is clear that Iran isn’t capable of preventing multiple attacks.
Indeed, with Israel hinting that it might annex parts of the West Bank, it could be a coded warning to contain Hezbollah from any intrigues – or other Iranian proxies. If so, then for Israel the recent explosions are multi-layered.
This applies to stem possible Iranian intrigues if Israel annexes more land, to hinder Iran’s nuclear development, and to warn Tehran that if you can’t defend Natanz then it is dangerous to overstep the mark. At the same time, to embolden internal forces opposed to the government, to humiliate the capability of Iran’s security apparatus, and to expose the weakness of Iran’s cyber defense.
Irrespective of the real culprit – or a combination of forces – it remains to be seen if the pressure will continue.
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