Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed during his speech at the opening of a Cabinet meeting on 24 November that Iran is planning “additional attacks”, not only against neighbouring countries, but on its own citizens.
The politician didn’t elaborate further on his claims, including which countries are likely to be affected. Instead, he called on the international community to unite in order to put pressure on Iran, which he labelled the “largest terrorist regime in the world”.
“I call on all countries around the world that want to achieve peace in our region, and throughout the world in general, to join in the effort and apply more and more pressure on Iran and additionally, to support Israel as it takes action against this aggression”, he stated.
Speaking about Iran’s alleged attacks on its own citizens, Netanyahu apparently referred to unconfirmed reports by the NGO Amnesty International claiming that over 100 people have been killed in the fuel protests that have been rocking the Islamic Republic. Tehran has reported that only one civilian has been killed during the rallies.
Netanyahu’s comments came in response to the statements by commander of the US forces in the Middle East General Kenneth McKenzie, who claimed that “it is very possible [Iran] will attack again”, while referring to a drone strike on Saudi Aramco facilities and attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf that Washington blames on Tehran. The Islamic Republic has denied being responsible for these incidents.
“It’s the trajectory and the direction that they’re on. The attack on the oil fields in Saudi was stunning in the depth of its audaciousness. I wouldn’t rule that out going forward”, he stated.
McKenzie further noted that Iran, which is under “maximum pressure” from US sanctions, could seek to “crack the campaign” in a bid to provoke Washington.
Attacks on Oil Trade in Middle East
Saudi Arabian refineries suffered a massive missile and drone attack in September 2019, which was claimed by Houthi militants fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in their home country. Despite this, the US attributed the attack, which its Patriot defence systems had failed to thwart, to Iran, presenting no proof to substantiate the claim.
Prior to this, in two separate incidents, a total of six oil tankers belonging to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Norway were attacked in the Persian Gulf, suffering damages to their hulls. The UAE conducted an investigation into one of the incidents, arriving at the conclusion that a state actor was responsible for organising the attack, but failed to specify which one. Washington blamed both attacks on Tehran, once again presenting no credible evidence to prove their allegation. Iran has denied all the accusations.