by Andrew Thompson • January 7, 2021
Israeli spy agency officials said they are concerned about the possibility that after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Iran will seek revenge against the United States for a political assassination ordered by President Donald Trump.
Two former Mossad chiefs and a former Israeli national security council official all said that Iran had failed to avenge the assassination of one of its most senior officials in 2020 but likely would not do so prior to US President-Elect Joe Biden taking office.
However, they also all told The Jerusalem Post that Iran would eventually find a way to avenge the murder of the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed one year ago by an American missile attack.
Trump ordered the assassination of the Iranian military commander.
Former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit told the Jerusalem Post that “the Iranians’ patience is never-ending.”
Former Mossad director Danny Yatom said, “the assassination was a very impressive one of strategic value covering the full field with Iran,” but Soleimani, “was much more than just the leader of the Quds Force.”
The former spy chief, who led Mossad from 1996-1998, said Soleimani was very close to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his death was a harsh blow to both morale and actual operations of the elite Quds Force.
One of five branches of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Quds Force, specializing in unconventional warfare and military intelligence, is analogous to a combination of the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command in the United States
Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland, Israel’s former national security council chief, said that Iran is unlikely to start a large-scale confrontation with the US before Biden assumes the presidency.
“So I don’t think anything dramatic will happen in the next few days,” said Eiland. “But Iran feels that at some point, it will have to retaliate, if not against the US, then against Israel or Israeli interests.”
Khamenei promised to avenge the blood of his most favored military commander, Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike outside Baghdad’s international airport in January.
Khamenei the revenge on those who ordered the assassination and executed it is “definite,” but he did not specify any timing.
The Soleimani killing, directly ordered by Trump, pushed Iran and the United States to the brink of war.
Five days after the assassination, Iran targeted the Ain al-Asad airbase hosting US soldiers in neighboring Iraq with over a dozen missiles.
That attack, which was launched by Iran with a prior notice, killed no one but did cause traumatic brain injuries among US troops.
Given entanglements among various nations and a complete breakdown in diplomacy, a conflict between the United States and Iran could easily escalate into World War III.
Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif never spoke directly, according to Iran’s mission at the United Nations.
“The danger of an accidental conflict seems to be increasing over each day,” said U.S. Senator Angus King, a political independent from Maine, who called for direct dialogue between the United States and Iran in 2019.
A senior European diplomat said it was vital for top U.S. and Iranian officials to be on “speaking terms” to prevent an incident from mushrooming into a crisis.
Instead, Biden is coming into the White House with a potentially bloody war brewing in the Middle East in addition to an economy that is worse than the Great Depression and with the coronavirus pandemic death toll approaching yhe half million mark.