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Israeli Intelligence All But Takes Credit for Isfahan Blast, Black Ops as Route to War

Sheera Frenkel, reporting in the Times of London has gotten several high-level Israeli intelligence officials to go on record confirming yesterday’s explosion at Isfahan’s uranium enrichment facility was sabotage, and not an accident as Iran initially reported (later it withdrew this claim and said no accident had occurred at all). Iran’s outright denial that any accident occurred is reminiscent of Hezbollah’s denial that it’s arms cache in south Lebanon exploded recently, despite the fact that local villagers, the Daily Star, and an Israeli source here in this blog reported the sabotage.

Among the more colorful and typically Israeli macho statements was by Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland who said coyly that he didn’t know if the Mossad did it, and that it could very well be “the hand of God:”

 ”There aren’t many coincidences, and when there are so many events there is probably some sort of guiding hand, though perhaps it’s the hand of God,” he said.

How many nations in today’s world do you know whose citizens would refer, even obliquely, to their spy agency unironically as the hand of God??

The tragedy of this black ops program is that it will not rattle or deter Iran, as Israeli intelligence believes. It will have the opposite effect. It will make them redouble their efforts. It will make them less, rather than more willing to compromise in any meaningful way with western efforts to rein in their nuclear program. And once Iran has a nuclear weapon it will make it more, rather than less likely it will use such weapons as North Korea does–as a cudgel over the heads of their enemies.

One false argument neocon hawks and the Obama administration make is that a nuclear Iran will use WMD to force hegemony on its neighbors.  The truth is that the only thing that will do that is driving Iran to the wall, attacking it, and trying to wipe out its nuclear program.  If you turn Iran into a martyr regime, it will become our worst nightmare.  This is what makes Israeli and U.S. policy a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Contrary to what Israeli generals believe, the Iranians are not pushovers, they can’t be intimidated.  They’re willing to die for their country even more than Israelis.  They’ve fought defensive wars going back decades and lost millions in conflict.  A few explosions, assassinations, and computer viruses will not spook them.  In fact, I believe Iran would be far more willing to absorb casualties in any ongoing conflict than the Israeli public would.  That’s why I think alas, Israel’s policy is one devised by fools.

I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that Israel knows that black ops will turn Iran more intransigent.  It welcomes such Iranian rigidity because it means the day is closer when it will be set loose on the Iranians. Israel’s policy toward Iran is scorched earth. It has decided the Ayatollahs are willing to die for their nukes and Israel wants to make their dreams come true. But it wants the world to go along, at least tacitly, which is the only reason it hasn’t attacked already.

Israel, like Dick Cheney circa 2003, has a complex agenda that involves reinforcing Israeli hegemony over its regional interests.  In truth, Iranian nukes are not an existential threat to Israel.  Rather, the true existential threat (as viewed by the Bibites) is Palestinian sovereignty.  Spooking the world with the specter of Iranian nukes is a convenient diversion from the far more important and intractable problem of Israel-Palestine.  There would be nothing like a little regional war to take Israel’s and the world’s mind off the rights of the Palestinian people.  It should be good for at least a two year respite I should say.  Meanwhile, teaching the Iranians a lesson would go a long way toward intimidating any other regional powers like Turkey, Syria or Egypt who give any thoughts toward competing with Israeli interests.

Further, Israeli wars go a long way to puncturing any social justice movements seeking to point to economic and political inequities inside the country.  No Israeli activist or political party with a reform agenda can make any headway against a far right government pursuing a war policy.  Just as they will in Iran, the common folk will rally round the flag and the nation under threat.  All other competing tensions or interests will be thrown aside in a bid for national unity.  This is yet another tragedy of war (cf. 1982, 2006, 2009, 201?).

Returning to Iran, contrary to the war hawk view of its policymakers as intent on mystical national suicide, probably understands Israel’s intent.  This may be why Iran has reacted in a tightly controlled manner to the attacks.  It understands that much is at stake and that it is being goaded into overreacting so the west can use this as a pretext to strike.

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{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Noam November 30, 2011, 1:06 AM

    I believe the “hand of God” statement was a subtle reference to Maradona’s famous “hand of God” incident, where Maradona scored a goal with this hand but the referee did not see this and approved it. Maradona stated that perhaps it is the “hand of God”, as he could not confirm that he scored by hand since this is against the rules. Similarly, Eiland cannot confirm the sabotage since that is illegal.

  • Zbigniew November 30, 2011, 1:21 AM

    You should get yourself familiar with the Iran-Iraq war and specially the missile war the brought the Iranian’s to seek a seize fire at the end of the war. despite the picture you are trying to paint of a very determine Iranian regime and people when the governing body was the primary target of the attacks, and while facing a chance for loosing control, they caved in. If Israel wants to win, they should find the way to threaten the existence of the regime.
    A great way for doing so, is a serious of black ops operation that will take out key elements of the Iranian well secured nuclear infrastructure. Doing so will undermine the grip the regime has on its people, and maybe encourage the people to upraise again.
    The Iranian denial of the last activity is directed to prevent the weakening of the regime in the eye of it’s own people.

    • Anonymous November 30, 2011, 3:01 AM

      “A great way for doing so, is a serious of black ops operation that will take out key elements of the Iranian well secured nuclear infrastructure. Doing so will undermine the grip the regime has on its people, and maybe encourage the people to upraise again.
      The Iranian denial of the last activity is directed to prevent the weakening of the regime in the eye of it’s own people.”

      Is it great to commiting crimes against peace and escalating the conflict? Is it great to commit to terrorism just so Israel could establish more religiously based annextion and continued their illegal occupation, or even more ethnic cleansing? Would you accept if a nation commited the same tactics against Israel? Would you accept it? Of course not, so why all this double standard?

      There is also a fundamental flaw in your way of reasoning reagarding your view that the people “will rise up”. There is nothing for pointing that the people will rise up against their leadership. Even back in 2009 the protests movement were sporadic,-erupted by the unbacked claims of fraud. The movement consisted of a minority of people and was no revolution because it died out and was more or less stuck in Teheran which is one of the biggest cities were folks didnt vote for Ahmadinejad.
      That doesnt mean that there isnt a opposition in Iran, but this opposition is very small.

      • JONDS November 30, 2011, 5:10 AM

        Ethnic cleansing – ha

      • Zbigniew November 30, 2011, 7:10 AM

        To answer your questions,
        There is no Shred of evidence that Israel is involved in any of the explosions in Iran. Judging by the satellite image published, it seems to me that the explosion which occurred two weeks ago was carried by airplanes / uav’s which attacked multiple structures in that base, destroying it completely. Such an attack was carried (if) by a stealth aircraft / UAV, and only one Nation posses such ability. If it was blast during a test to a missile engine as published…Unless the Iranians are really dumb the missile will have no warhead during the test, hence the damage would be very limited.

        second, Iran is a threat to the stability of the middle east, as reveled by wikileaks everyone from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia think that allowing the Iranian to posses military nuclear ability would be a disaster (excluding RS and Yourself) under these circumstances, i really think that any tactic is valid in trying to minimize the threat.

        the so called information you provide about the Iranian opposition, is simply not true. I suggest you google the subject.

        • Anonymous November 30, 2011, 8:11 AM

          “There is no Shred of evidence that Israel is involved in any of the explosions in Iran.”

          There are many indications pointing at Israel, compared to lack of evidence that these explosions were just accidents.

          Interesting that you ignored to approach my questions regarding:

          the opposition and conducting terrorism and crimes against peace.

          “second, Iran is a threat to the stability of the middle east, as reveled by wikileaks everyone from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia think that allowing the Iranian to posses military nuclear ability would be a disaster (excluding RS and Yourself) under these circumstances, i really think that any tactic is valid in trying to minimize the threat.”

          No, the arab street thinks that Israel pose the biggest threat. You have obviously swallowed the israel-myth that Iran is hated in the region.

          2010: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx

          Israel the biggest threat

          2011:
          http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2011/1121_arab_public_opinion_telhami/1121_arab_public_opinion.pdf

          Israel is the biggest threat

          You know, dont try to shift attention or fool me.

          • Zbigniew November 30, 2011, 8:28 AM

            No one can full you, your cup is already fool.

            Iran ‘must be stopped’: Arab leaders implored U.S. to attack, WikiLeaks disclosures show

            http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/29/world/la-fg-wikileaks-iran-20101129

            And just FYI, there is a different between the opinion of the Arab street, and the Arab leaders. While the street would point to Israel as the biggest threat (and would influence such voting by others) the regimes are pointing at Iran.

          • Anonymous November 30, 2011, 8:59 AM

            Did you miss the links or did you ignore the facts once again? Ignorance is bliss.

            What does it matter what some unelected despots think? That means you think they have a credibility, no wonder Israel want the despots to stay.

            As my links proved the arab street name Israel as the biggest threat (who wouldnt?).

          • Zbigniew November 30, 2011, 10:10 AM

            You are absolutely right.
            I guess fear of Israeli aggression is what made the United Kingdom to order the closure of the Iranian Embassy in London today and kick out all the Iranian diplomats within 48 hours.

            http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-30/u-k-orders-closing-of-iranian-embassy-over-tehran-attack.html

            No doubt, you are absolutely right.

          • Anonymous November 30, 2011, 10:38 AM

            Once again you shift attention to something else. Iranian government urged U.K. to be expelled last week. U.K. of course want to portray they left of free will.

            Yes I am right, if you had the guts to accept that you were wrong on arab street you would have acknowledge that.

          • Zbigniew November 30, 2011, 11:12 AM

            I don’t think you live on the same planet like the rest of us.

            Yesterday, Iranian students stormed the British Embassy in Tehran.

            Germany called their Ambassador back, the Norwegian announced they are closing shop in Iran.
            http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iWR6Kdw6hDO5RfITsrkaxWrY8Flw?docId=a991cf7929f64066acbb284877f6c688

            Italy is considering closing their embassy as well
            http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/30/us-italy-iran-embassy-idUSTRE7AT1RF20111130

            And i am sure many other European countries will follow suit.

            But hey, Israel is the biggest threat.

          • Anonymous November 30, 2011, 11:29 AM

            Again you ignoring my question and trying to divert attention from the facts in the reports by brookings.

            We could go way back and Israel will still be considered the biggest threat to the arab nations, only a true self-rightous hardcore likudnik wont admit israeli wrongdoings and hostility.

          • Yonatan November 30, 2011, 1:52 PM

            Hasbara trolls are so predictable.

            Have a look at:

            http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2009/10/15/holy-hasbara-how-to-make-the-case-for-is-1

            It is as easy (and predictable) as 1-2-3

        • Bessam November 30, 2011, 5:46 PM

          Zbig-
          go to hell.

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2011, 11:04 PM

            I think he’s well on his way. And if God is truly merciful he’ll make Zbig share eternity with Ayatollah Khomeini as his roommate.

        • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2011, 10:57 PM

          There’s plenty of evidence of it including the boasting of high level Israeli security officials.

          Please don’t waste our time by peddling bullshit like planes attacking Iran. That’s Debka stuff & belongs there where you do as well. If this is the level of your future contribution to the comment threads here you won’t be making many.

          • Zbigniew December 1, 2011, 11:15 AM

            There is none. All you have in anonymous sources who run their mouths.

            As for your analysis. Please tell everyone what is your level of expertise in analyzing detonation’s, I am waiting to here that. It’s none.

            And as for the goto hell wishes, you are really exposing your bigotry, racism and hatred towards the state of Israel, Israeli’s and Jews. I am not an Israeli, i am a Polish man, who’s been flowing the news. two things are infinite the universe and human stupidity, you are providing the proof that E’ was right

        • Ronald December 4, 2011, 5:37 PM

          Terribly sorry, but rocket explosions can be VERY big. The Russian moonrocket explosions were equivalent to a tactical nuclear explosion. It is perfectly feasible to blow up half the facility if the explosion is close enough to rocket fuel storage.

    • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2011, 10:24 PM

      Promoting racism and war against another nation is prohibited in this blog. Your future comments will be moderated and any further violations of the comment rules will result in your losing your privileges.

  • Itai November 30, 2011, 1:37 AM

    Richard, you are saying that:

    “One false argument neocon hawks and the Obama administration make is that a nuclear Iran will use WMD to force hegemony on its neighbors. The truth is that the only thing that will do that is driving Iran to the wall, attacking it, and trying to wipe out its nuclear program.”

    Do you really believe that this is a false argument? what do you think Iran would do when it has nukes? go soft on us?

    It seems you are making no sense here or am I missing something?

    Itai

    • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2011, 10:27 PM

      If you attack Iran and it gets WMD anyway it will be exceedingly harsh towards you for decades to come. If you negotiate with Iran and offer an attractive enough deal it may slow or end its nuclear program. If it gains WMD without your attacking it, it will not treat you as harshly as it would otherwise. This seems only common sense. But if you are like most Israeli pols & generals you don’t believe it matters whether you attack or not because Iran will hate you equally no matter what you do. I assure you this is false. It will go far far worse if you attack. Because then Iran will get a bomb & you will not find Iran a pleasant neighbor.

      • free man December 1, 2011, 5:31 AM

        I remember a british PM who thought that way as well.
        Now what was his name ? Neville something ?

        • Richard Silverstein December 1, 2011, 12:40 PM

          Your comment is off topic & a non sequitur. Neville Chamberlain didn’t have an atom bomb at his disposal to stop the Nazis as Israel and the U.S. do if they are needed to protect their respective nations. Nor is there any proof that Iran would use such a bomb itself if it created one. The only country with nuclear weapons to have used them in a conflict is the U.S. Though I have no doubt that Israel would use one if it felt it necessary to do so.

        • astutemind December 2, 2011, 7:15 AM

          Then free man you remember incorrectly. Furthermore the crime of the Nazis (among others) wasn’t rhetoric, but the fact that they went around attacking their neighbors unprovoked and with impunity. I don’t need to like you to live and let live, especially if and as long as I don’t encroach on your rights or you on mine. Since Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors in an unprovoked first strike in centuries your entire Chamberlain/Nazi attempted analogy is faulty.
          In fact Israel is the only country in the middle east that has followed Nazi Germany’s script in unprovoked attacks against its neighbors (Iran in the 80′s and Syria in 2007) both illegal and unprovoked.

    • Anonymous December 1, 2011, 12:52 PM

      Itai:

      Your arguments make no sense. Typical likud-rhetoric, that either are deliberately based on lies or the fact that you dont know better.

      Nations dont use nukes, and especially not a nation that Iran (if it will ever get it). Iran may want to establish a deterrence, according to the MAD-theory.
      It seems in these days that nations that doesnt have this capability will be attacked, occupied and sanctioned. So dont criticise Iran, criticise US and israeli policy that refuse to push Israel, which trigger the arms race.

      • Ronald December 4, 2011, 5:58 PM

        Iran sees several things:
        1) There are two states with nuclear weapons and little respect for others hell-bent on destroying it’s government and impose a new one.
        2) One of those countries INVADED and occupied two of it’s direct neighbours and imposed new, corrupt, and pliable regimes in these neighbours.
        3)Iran is under constant attack by sanctions, sabotage, terrorism, and all sorts of propaganda and falls claims.
        4) From Pakistan and North-Korea they can easily learn that once in possession of a nuclear weapon their enemies will no longer seek regime change out of fear of instability and stolen nukes.

        Irrespective if you love or hate either of these countries, it seems totally logical that the mullah regime would opt for nuclear weapons. Key point: No regime change is possible after the acquiring of nuclear weapons.

    • astutemind December 2, 2011, 6:53 AM

      Itai the answer your question “what do you think Iran would do when it has nukes? go soft on us?” is do the same as every other country which has nukes.

      I don’t know what “go soft on us?” means…please define it. Is China going “soft on us”? Russia maybe? What about North Korea? They have nukes but hasn’t attacked us. Are they “going soft on us”?

      Furthermore no one has explained how one makes apple pie without apples to me nor have they explained how Iran is making a bomb when all of its nuclear stockpile is accounted for, none diverted for military use, nor is it enriched to levels suitable for bomb making.

      Furthermore since Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors in an unprovoked first strike in centuries any suggestion or assertion that it will suddenly out of the blue do so is arbitrary as best. So as for your last statement…yes you are very definitely missing something.

  • shmuel November 30, 2011, 2:13 AM

    The quote from Giora Eilander is not full, I heard the original, and he said that it was “like Maradonna’s hand of god”

    This very much shows his flippancy and humour but does not in any way compare the mossad to god, and I’ll explain to Americans here who don’t know what Maradonna’s hand of god is all about.

    Maradonna is/was a star Argentinian football (soccer) player, probably one of the most talented players the world ever knew. In the world cup football quarter finals in 1986 Argentina played England, their first match since the Falklands war. Tensions were very high, and at one stage Maradonna jumped high to a ball ostensible to head it to goal, but in stead punched it in with his fist. The referee didn’t see, or chose to ignore the deliberate use of the hand (should have been sent off and the goal disqualified) and as a result of the goal England were knocked out of the competition. Later when interviewed about the goal he unabashedly claimed the goal was scored by “the hand of god”. (Maradonna later became a heroine addict and pusher, that’s the real hand of god…)

    So, Eilander was talking tongue in cheek, but not deifying.

  • Zam November 30, 2011, 3:34 AM

    Isn’t the Isfahan facility under IAEA supervision? Have they made any mention of this incident?

    • Ivan December 1, 2011, 12:00 PM

      This is a key point which is being ignored in this discussion.

  • PersianAdvocate November 30, 2011, 2:13 PM

    “Hand of God”?

    Ah yes, when in Operation Eagle Claw 8 American Servicemen died in a friendly military accident during an operation against Iran in 1980 re: the hostage crisis, was that the “hand of God”?

    What’s that whole thing about using God’s name in vain? Oh, so pronouns or nicknames don’t count. And you give your God nick names? And your God commits espionage in favor of world war?

    So yes, Israel is nuts if they think they have reach into Iran’s facilities.

    More plausible: Iran was testing ballistics and their test went awry. You know, the country that was announcing missile tests left and right?

    AND BY THE WAY, EXPLODING A MILITARY SITE (LIKE THE PENTAGON) IS A TERRORIST ACT.

    Now, what did you say caused those explosions?

  • PersianAdvocate November 30, 2011, 2:32 PM

    By the way, Ayatollah Khomeini once declared of the Operation Eagle Claw disaster, “Perhaps it was the hand of God.”

    What they write in the papers about Isfahan is contradicted by the fact that you won’t be able to find average citizens speaking of hearing the explosion, etc.

  • Bessam November 30, 2011, 6:00 PM

    Bessam, aka PersianAdvocate2, says –

    Is the scheme to attempt to provoke Iran to strike back?

    when Egyptians massed at Israel’s borders, Israel’s preemptive attack was not aggression, we are told.

    but if Iran should lose its cool at make some retaliatory gesture toward Israel/US, dime to donuts, Iran will be painted as the aggressor and Israel the victim. Izz will probably demand reparations from Iran for ________ (fill in the blank — try to be original).

    We can be thankful that stability in the ME is maintained by Iran’s “crazy” mullahs rather than oh so sane — did I really say “sane?” — Likudniks and US Congressbots.

    Think about that: the stability of the ME, and by extension, of the world, rests on the shoulders of Iran’s mullahs. So far, they’re doing a better job of it than is ‘the only democracy in the ME.’

  • dickerson3870 December 1, 2011, 12:44 AM

    RE: “No Israeli activist or political party with a reform agenda can make any headway against a far right government pursuing a war policy. Just as they will in Iran, the common folk will rally round the flag and the nation under threat.” ~ R.S.

    THE WORDS OF A FORMER ISRAELI:

    (excerpt)”…Israelis have never been particularly kind to each other. It’s one of the reasons I left actually. In my late twenties I started to grow weary of the unkind, harsh and unforgiving atmosphere around me. It was a tough place to live in not because of our ‘enemies’ but because of how people treated one another. You would believe that we were all enemies rather than people who have some kind of a shared heritage. The only thing that could unite people and temporarily brought out more kindness and a sense of cooperation was a feeling of being under collective threat, and in particular a ‘good wholesome war’…” ~ Avigail Abarbanel

    SOURCE – http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/gaza-2009-01-04.html
    AVIGAIL ABARBANEL’S SITE – http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/

  • Ronald December 4, 2011, 6:05 PM

    One point as well:
    There is no way Israel can be wiped off the map by Iran without Israel wiping Iran off the map in the same process. The Mullahs have been trying hard to remain in existence, not ending their presence here. Just a thought..

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