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Israel expands covert attacks in Iran, senior US official tells CNN

Israel has carried out a series of covert operations inside Iran in recent months, a senior Biden administration official tells CNN, further removing the cloud about those responsible for the mysterious attacks on nuclear and military targets. in the Islamic Republic.

“The situation with Iran is getting very hot,” the official said. recount CNN, referring to Iran’s recent decision to dismantle several surveillance cameras at one of its nuclear sites in addition to the series of attacks carried out by Israel.

Iranian vessels also came within 50 of a pair of US Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz yesterday in a “dangerous and unprofessional manner”, the US said in a statement to CNN.

The official told the network that US President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East in July will focus on assuring allies that the administration is taking the Iranian threat seriously.

Israel pressured the US government to have Biden travel to Saudi Arabia and meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The president said last week that he would not hold a one-on-one meeting with MBS in Jeddah next month.

US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Gluing/AP)

“We are committed to consulting closely with our regional partners regarding U.S. policy on Iran, and generally we support dialogue among countries in the region on issues of regional security and stability,” a spokesperson said. word of the White House National Security Council.

The United States plans to expand economic sanctions and enforcement action against Iran if talks to revive the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action fail, sources tell CNN familiar with the matter, adding that the administration is seeking to form a coalition of Middle Eastern countries — including Israel and the Gulf states — that will work together to fight Iran.

The hope in Washington is that this coalition will take some of the pressure off the United States to act alone against Iran.

However, Israel is not waiting for such a coalition to materialize, with several current and former officials telling CNN that it has expanded covert attacks on nuclear-related targets in Iran, without warning the United States. CNN does not specify whether its sources are American, Israeli or from another country.

The network quotes a US official as claiming that Israel was behind the assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei last month.

Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei. (Screenshot)

Nonetheless, the Biden administration has not directly asked Israel to cease operations, apparently making it more unlikely that Iran will agree to return to compliance with the JCPOA, the officials told CNN.

CNN’s revelations contradict those of other news sites, which reported that Israel informed the United States of such operations in advance.

Officials speaking to CNN played down the possibility of a conventional war breaking out between Iran and Israel, despite the upsurge in attacks. However, they recognized that a miscalculation on either side could lead to an uncontrollable spiral.

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