Perhaps it is all a coincidence; the attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia and a failed bomb plot in Thailand by Iranian nationals. Add to this the tensions between Iran, Israel and the West, the presence of the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Straits of Hormuz and Iran’s latest nuclear advancements, perhaps it’s not a coincidence at all.
The past few weeks have seen a rapid escalation in rhetoric and action between Iran and the U.S. lead Western alliance. The latter is hoping to contain Iran’s nuclear progress through the use of sanctions and political pressure. Iran’s response, particularly their threat to close off the Straits of Hormuz, has many commentators believing that Western sanctions are starting to bite.
Despite such grave threats by a regime known for its mastery of vitriolic rhetoric, the Islamic Republic of Iran has rarely confronted their adversaries directly. Iran’s preference has always been to use its various proxies to inflict damage at a low cost to itself. This is true mostly with regards to its regional competitor Israel. Through groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territories, Iran has been able to punish Israel indirectly with little cost. Some cite the recent attacks as responses to suspected Israeli assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. The most recent attacks also coincided with the anniversary of Israel’s assassination of former Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyah, which would strengthen the case that these attacks were carried out with some level of Iranian compliance. Hezbollah for their part deny any involvement. If Tehran is ruled as the perpetrator, it would not be the first time the regime has targeted Israeli interests abroad; the most popular case being the Israeli embassy bombings in Argentina.