Monday, November 21, 2022

Intel chief: Iran could attack World Cup, protests may lead to more aggression

The head of Military Intelligence on Monday said Iran was mulling an attack on the World Cup in Qatar, as it faces increasing pressure at home amid nationwide anti-regime protests.

Speaking at an Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said the protests sweeping Iran are “extremely exceptional” and have transformed into a “civilian rebellion.”

“The death toll, the attacks on national symbols — this is very troubling for the regime, especially combined with sanctions, the existing international pressure, and the difficult economic situation,” he said.

The protests were sparked by the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran in September, and have since spread across the country. Authorities have responded with a crackdown that Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights says has left almost 400 people dead, half a dozen sentenced to death, and more than 15,000 arrested.

“There is a real concern within the regime that it endangers the regime. At this stage, I do not see a risk to the regime…. but as the pressure on Iran increases, including internal pressure, the Iranian response is much more aggressive, so we should expect much more aggressive responses in the region and in the world,” Haliva said. READ MORE