Shadow war: Israel steps up covert attacks on Iran’s energy infrastructure

Published 23 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Genre image - gas pipelines.

According to an investigative report by the New York Times, Israel has apparently stepped up its covert sabotage against Iranian targets. Two major natural gas pipelines have been sabotaged, cutting off gas supplies for heating and cooking in several provinces.

This is seen as an escalation in what has been described as a “shadow war” between Israel and Iran.

– This shows that the covert networks operating in Iran have expanded their target list and advanced beyond just military and nuclear sites, Shahin Modarres, a security analyst who focuses on the Middle East, told the New York Times.

– It’s a major challenge and reputation blow for Iran’s intelligence and security agencies, he adds.

In the past, Israel has mainly attacked Iranian military targets – or those variously linked to the country’s nuclear power – but this time it was the energy infrastructure that was targeted.

– The level of impact was very high because these are two significant pipelines going south to north. We have never seen anything like this in scale and scope, said energy analyst Homayoun Falakshahi.

Murdered officials

Iran’s oil minister, Javad Owji, confirmed the attacks but did not name those responsible. But he added that the aim of the attacks was to damage Iran’s energy infrastructure and try to create discontent in the country.

– The enemy’s plan was to completely disrupt the flow of gas in winter to several main cities and provinces in our country, he explained.

According to the report, government buildings as well as large factories and apartment buildings were affected by the disruption – while Iran itself said the disruptions were minor.

The conflict between Israel and Iran has intensified during Israel’s invasion of Gaza, not least because Iran is accused of arming and financing Hamas. Recent Israeli assassinations have also killed an Iranian “spy chief” and three senior officers in Syria, further souring relations.

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