A powerful explosion within a sensitive missile production facility in Israel sent ripples miles away. While Israeli papers claim that it was merely a controlled explosion, experts believe that the explosion was retribution for Israel’s operations against Iran.
When rumours about possible reconciliation talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia began circulating the media, Westerners thought that through some backdoor channels it might be possible to goad Iranians into reaching a compromise with Israel, putting all the bad blood between these two countries behind or at least reach a compromise which would satisfy them both; that is Israel getting assurances concerning its security and Iran enjoying greater sanction reliefs. It didn’t take them long to figure out that they were wrong.
Israeli media reported that a giant explosion took place in one of Israel’s missile production facilities near the city of Ramla during the testing process, destroying a large part of the facility. Israeli Haaretz tried to downplay the explosion, reporting that the explosion was a byproduct of a routine test but intel indicates that the flames were so large that it is almost impossible to think that it was deliberately caused or was something controllable in the least. Other news sources have been a little more specific about the details, claiming that the targeted instalment belonged to Israeli Tomer, the company responsible for the development of Arrow 4 anti-ballistic missiles. Since Israel still hasn’t officially admitted to anything, there haven’t been lots of speculation but even those few point out to a single entity: Islamic Republic of Iran.
These past few months, Israel had grown increasingly emboldened with regards to its covert operations in the country. From the assassination of Iranian top nuclear to the recent cyberattack which led to an explosion right within one of the facilities earlier this month, Israel spared no effort in sabotaging the Iranian nuclear program. Aside from the damage done to the Iranian nuclear program, Israel’s attack served the secondary purpose of undermining the Vienna talks between Iranian government and the E3+2. For quite some time the Iranians kept calm, not willing to risk altercation and ruining the whole thing by playing into the Israelis hands and walking right into their trap. This time however they proved that no matter what, they are still committed to their fight.
Pertaining to the situation at hand, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to discuss the ramifications of U.S. possible return to the JCPOA and of course the recent attack on their facility with his cabinet by the weekend. They haven’t been alone in this endeavour though; Earlier today it was reported that a couple of Republicans headed by the former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were drafting a bill that would severely hamper Biden’s ability in lifting the sanctions related to Iran. Members of the Republican Study Committee have announced that they sought Pompeo’s advice in order to codify Trump’s so-called “Maximum Pressure Policy” aimed to curb the Iranians access to international markets.
Whatever may be the case here, Iranians are unlikely to fall for American’s promises once again. They trusted Obama and by extension Biden to preserve the JCPOA but Trump effectively killed it with a signature. Now that they have the upper hand, it is impossible to conceive that they would accept a deal which might be so easily demolished by the next Republican president. Now the ball is in Biden’s court and everything depends on his ability to navigate the dangerous labyrinth of Washington’s politics. Should he survive, everybody might get something out of it. If he fails however, he will not only have to deal with an incensed Iran but also an alienated Israel which is unlikely to trust him again.