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Protests at home may push Iran to be more aggressive regionally — intel chief

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva speaks at an Institute for National Security Studies  conference in Tel Aviv on November 21, 2022. (Screenshot: INSS)
Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva speaks at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv on November 21, 2022. (Screenshot: INSS)

The head of Military Intelligence says he assesses that Iran will continue to act aggressively in the region amid ongoing protests at home.

“The extremely exceptional protests… have moved to a civilian rebellion. The death toll, the attacks on national symbols, this is very troubling for the regime, in combination with sanctions,” Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva says at an Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv.

“There is a real concern within the regime that it endangers the regime. At this stage, I do not see a risk to the regime…. but as the pressure on Iran increases, including internal pressure, the Iranian response is much more aggressive, so we should expect much more aggressive responses in the region and in the world,” Haliva says.

Using soccer terms as the World Cup kicked off yesterday in Qatar, Haliva says “Iran is on the whole field, from nuclear to riots.”

Haliva says Iran has considered disrupting the World Cup in Qatar. “The only thing holding them back is how the Qataris will react,” he says.

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