By Paul R. Pillar | 14 July 2020
RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT — A series of violent attacks, involving explosions and fires, has been hitting Iran. The incidents have been too frequent and intense to be random accidents. They are part of an organized effort.
Caution is always advisable in attributing responsibility for such unclaimed acts, especially for all of us outside the government channels that possibly have better information about what is going on. But circumstances point strongly, as some mainstream press reporting reflects, to either or both of two suspects: the Netanyahu government in Israel, and the Trump administration in the United States.
Both of those suspects have track records that point that same way. The most conspicuous relevant act by the Trump administration was its assassination in January, with a drone-fired missile at the Baghdad airport, of Qassem Soleimani, one of the most prominent political and military figures in Iran. The Israeli record of aggressive acts against Iran has included a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. Those murders were part of a larger, longstanding Israeli campaign of assassinations throughout the Middle East. That campaign is in turn part of an even larger Israeli record of acts throughout the region — including, over the past couple of years, scores of aerial attacks in Syria. […]