In recent months, Iran has had to cope with a spate of unexpected disasters of mysterious origin at their nuclear refineries and on their warships.
First, a massive explosion in April caused significant damage to Iran’s largest nuclear enrichment plant in Natanz, causing a significant dip in the country’s ability to generate nuclear energy. Now, Iranian warships seem to be mysteriously catching fire and are being ravaged by sudden explosions.
Even more strangely, prominent Iranians have been dropping like flies of late — in some cases, literally dropping dead in the street, apparently from being shot or perhaps for some other unknown reason.
What in the world is going on?
On Wednesday, June 2, the Kharg, Iran’s largest warship, burst into flame for no apparent reason off the coast of the Gulf of Oman. The ship sank shortly thereafter. This has only been the latest in the string of disasters Iran has suffered which have been alluded to above.
It’s certainly possible that the Israeli Mossad is behind all of these mysterious events. If so, it would not be the first time that Israeli has engaged in deliberate sabotage against its enemies.
Of course, Israel is staying absolutely silent on the matter. So, by the way, is the Iranian government. For the Iranian government, things look terrible no matter what the truth behind these catastrophes ultimately happens to be. If they are the result of incompetence, the Iranian government will seem like bumbling fools.
If they are the result of purposeful sabotage by the Israelis, the Iranian government still looks like bumbling fools, for it would have allowed Israeli to carry out these attacks in the first place.
The conflict between Israeli and Iran has been simmering for many years. Israel sees Iran as a threat to its ambitions to dominate the Middle East, while the Iranians have their own desire to become a regional power. Israel has accused Iran of harboring plans to build nuclear weapons for many years. So far, it does not appear that there is much substance to these claims. Iran has submitted to international inspections of its nuclear facilities many times, and no evidence of a secret weapons program has been found.
If Iran’s recent string of disasters is a result of Israeli sabotage, it would certainly make sense. Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power as Israeli Prime Minister since 2009, is finally set to leave office. This could be Netanyahu’s final goodbye to Iran.
If true, this would be a significant escalation and would be terrible for Iranian citizens, who already have to endure crippling sanctions on their country and an extremely weak economy.
But again, Iran’s government is currently denying that sabotage had any role in what has happened. The head of the Provincial Crisis Management office in Iran says that the fire at its oil refinery was started by “a leak at a liquid gas pipeline,” for example.
Though we don’t know what the truth is, sabotage is certainly a live option.