The World Cup could be Iran’s target, according to reports
A senior Israeli military intelligence official said on Monday that Iran may be launching an attack on the World Cup but may be hesitant because of uncertainty over how host Qatar would react.
Major General Aharon Haliva, head of Israel Defense Forces Intelligence, attended a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv on Monday and spoke about the protests that were taking over the country and how they might affect the World Cup, the most important international soccer tournament. .
“Iran is considering disrupting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” Haliva said. “However, the only thing stopping them: what will be Qatar’s reaction?”
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Protests in Iran have continued since a woman named Mahsa Amini died while in moral police custody in Tehran in September, in what has been called the biggest challenge to Iran’s clerical leaders since revolution of 1979.
Amini’s death not only sparked outrage in Tehran, but protests spread across the country.
The country’s leaders deployed troops to a Kurdish town to regain control of the town, which was overrun by protesters.
Videos on social media showed the streets of Mahabad lined with military vehicles and, in one incident, Iranian forces opened fire on a crowd gathered for what was believed to be a speech by the governor.
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Haliva said the current protests are unusual in their length and intensity, adding how the demonstrations are changing the lines of civil unrest.
It is worrying for Iran’s regime, especially because of the growing and existing international pressure and difficult economic situation, the general said.
“As the pressure on Iran increases, the Iranian reaction to various events is more aggressive,” he said. “We should expect more aggressive actions from Iran in the region and the world.”
As Iran determine their next step, Haliva was adamant the World Cup was under threat.
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“I tell you that now the Iranians are considering participating in the World Cup in Qatar as well,” he said. “They fear the reaction of the Qataris. This trend will continue. Iran is under pressure, and this translates into aggressive actions.”
Yonat Friling of Fox News contributed to this report.