The Mossad Director is Frustrated but Not from Iran

Sep 13, 2023 08:21 pm
Photo from archive

Haaretz – Adapted

Threats made by Mossad director David Barnea against Iran are not new. Although nothing in these threats was stated openly, they do serve as an indication of another senior member of the intelligence service becoming disenchanted with how the government and its president are doing.

Barnea prevented 27 attempts by Iran and its proxies to attack Jewish and Israeli sites outside the entity in 2023. He emphasized that virtually any such operation carried out by Iran would receive higher-level endorsement, namely, Supreme Leader Khamenei, an excess signal that could be interpreted as a threat to the Supreme Leader's life. He also warned that Israel would not hesitate to act against all those responsible.

For three reasons, it would have been better if he hadn't stated it. The first is that threats from the Mossad President or other high-ranking Israeli actors are taken seriously right away. The second is that threats from high-ranking Israeli actors do not particularly affect Iran's leaders; instead, military operations on the ground affect them and put them in a defensive and frustrated state. For instance, the recent rise in global plans to target Israelis and the sabotage of Iranian nuclear facilities and missiles that Mossad is blamed for. The third argument was that there was no need to talk, given that Iran and the rest of the world are aware of Israel's intelligence abilities.

There are reasons for the Iranians' bravery, which Barnea avoided mentioning. The first are actions taken by the Netanyahu government that damage Israeli society and give Iran and other of Israel's foes the impression that Israel is collapsing from within. Second, the worsening of relations between Israel and the United States in particular and Israel and the Western liberal democratic world in general. To sum up, Netanyahu's Israel poses a larger existential threat to itself than Khamenei's Iran.