The former deputy commander of the Israeli army says Iran is looking to avenge the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, but fears American reprisals.
“The Iranians have a dilemma: if [the attack is] too weak, people will say, ‘They don’t respond.’ If too strong, they’ll bring down on their heads the full brunt of the most powerful nation on Earth,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Golan says in a Channel 12 interview.
Golan was one of the top military planners of Israel’s campaign of air strikes and special forces operations against Iran’s military forces in Syria.
The Iranian response, he says, “probably won’t come in the coming days, but we’re going to see going forward actions from Iran meant to demonstrate a response, but not too strong a response.”
He also cautions against some Israeli leaders’ enthusiastic endorsements of Soleimani’s killing as dealing a decisive blow to Iranian aspirations in the region.
“Soleimani was very talented and experienced, 21 years on the job,” Golan acknowledges. “On the other hand, let’s not exaggerate. We are all replaceable. They appointed a replacement immediately, and the replacement [Maj. Gen. Esmail Ghaani] is also a very experienced figure in Iran’s shadow activities.”
In the end, “Iran’s capabilities have not shrunk meaningfully. Developments in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon will limit it more than any single assassination.”