Blagging the news: The Iran-Israel covert war

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Mrs Jones: Surely the latest attempts on diplomatic lives in Thailand, Georgia and India are linked to the nuclear issue; such semi-covert attacks are an extension of the bitter diplomatic struggle that has been central to Iranian foreign policy for years.


Mr Jones: Indeed my dear, the recent attempt on the lives of Israeli officials is hardly surprising to those of us who have been following the development of Iran’s nuclear program.

The Iran-Israel covert war

 
What:
 
Staff at Israeli embassies in India, Georgia and now Bangkok have been targeted by bomb attacks in the last week, with four people injured.
 
In a move that shocked nobody, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of masterminding them. This comes after an Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by a magnetic bomb attached to his car by two men on motorbikes (a technique widely attributed to the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad). It was the fourth such attack on Iranian scientists in two years, and strikingly similar to an attack in 2010 on the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency. Add to that the Stuxnet computer virus that damaged Iran’s centrifuges in 2009, and it’s all looking a bit well-organised. Many experts believe this is the latest in a string of tit-for-tat state-sponsored assassinations stretching back decades.

Why:

 
Iranian President Ahmadinejad claims the country’s nuclear program is for entirely peaceful, energy-generation purposes. The West, especially Israel and the USA, are convinced the real aim is to produce a nuclear weapon, and Ahmadinejad has previously spoken of “wiping Israel off the map”, so the Israelis are understandably worried. Across the pond, Republican Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have both said they’d support covert operations against Iran to prevent them acquiring a nuclear capacity. Seeing as no country has admitted to any of these attacks, it would hardly be surprising if there are more reprisals against either Iranian or Israeli targets. Or both. This isn’t over.

Soundbites to wow with:


“The escalation in violence between the Iranian and Israeli intelligence agencies can only harm the already-sour relations between the two countries.”

“With President Ahmadinejad bent on a nuclear Iran, I can only foresee more violence between the two countries.”

Don’t say:


“Why don’t we just invade Iran and sort this out once and for all?”

 

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