Iran and the IRGC are hurting.
First came the disclosure earlier this month that the Mossad had arrested multiple Iranian agents both in Europe and then in Iran itself, which led to cracking and thwarting a plot to assassinate three individuals.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that IRGC Unit 840 commander Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodyari had been assassinated to set back his secretive unit that is responsible for terrorist operations against Israeli and Western targets outside of the Islamic Republic.
Then on Wednesday night Israel disclosed new Iranian nuclear secrets and cover-up operations.
Although the disclosures relate back to the agency’s raid of Tehran’s secret nuclear archives in 2018, the explosive findings have emerged now, a time that could not be more embarrassing for the ayatollahs.
These new documents show that Iran hacked the IAEA, and held internal discussions on how to continue to fool the world’s nuclear inspectors.
Combined, these three operations and disclosures have put the Islamic Republic on the defensive more than at any time since 2018.
If Iran wanted to try to take the “diplomatic moral high ground,” the disclosure that it was trying to assassinate a US general and that it was hacking the IAEA have essentially eliminated that possibility.
Alternatively, if the ayatollahs wanted to strong-arm and intimidate the West with violence and terrorism, they have faced multiple setbacks in the very unit that would undertake the operations.
At a time when Iran has announced multiple times that it has arrested large numbers of Mossad agents and rid the country of infiltrations, it seems that the spy agency can still operate anytime and anywhere within Iran’s borders.
Not since 2018, when Iran’s archives were raided, or the summer of 2020, when a dozen Iranian installations exploded day after day, have the ayatollahs been so shaken by the alleged power of Israel’s clandestine forces.
But with Iran on the defensive, why would the US publicly leak Israel’s role in these operations at this time?
This is especially troubling when Israel has gone to great lengths to avoid taking public responsibility, and to avoid unnecessarily angering the Iranians on a personal level.
If the Jewish state wanted to avoid a serious Iranian response, Washington’s public revelations would appear extremely counterproductive.
This is not the first time the Biden administration has blown Israeli cover for an operation, or leaked something about Israeli intelligence operations.
When the Biden administration previously did so, it seemed to be part of a good cop-bad cop scenario, so that Washington could continue to negotiate with the ayatollahs over nuclear issues.
Does this mean that America is still aggressively seeking a nuclear deal with Iran, despite what would seem to be irreconcilable disagreements over Biden’s refusal to delete the IRGC from the US terrorist list?
Regardless of why the US leaked Israel’s alleged role, and regardless of the extent to which Iran may respond directly against Israeli or Jewish interests, Iran will remain on the defensive.
Any time in recent months that Iran upped the ante by using drones or cyber warfare, Israel has allegedly counter-attacked with much greater force and consequences.
The message is clear: whether there is a new nuclear deal or not, the consequences of Iran trying to cross the nuclear threshold or escalate its violence against Israel will be dire.