Possible change of narrative in Israel: Iran isn't entrenching itself in Syria, it's smuggling materials for nuclear program

Commentary: On Tuesday night there was another attack against targets on the Syria-Iraq border attributed to Israel. However, this time the narrative regarding the action was different

Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit 

On Tuesday night there was another attack against targets on the Syria-Iraq border attributed to Israel. This time, unlike previous attacks attributed to Israel, the narrative has changed, as can be understood from comments by a senior American official to AP. If Israeli security-related officials had until now, openly or indirectly, promoted a narrative that the attacks are intended to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria, now the narrative has changed. Instead of Iranian entrenchment, it is a smuggling route for Iran's nuclear program.      

What materials for the nuclear program in Iran are in Syria? Well, it's an enigma. In Syria there are no plutonium mines, and there are no uranium stockpiles. There are no uranium enrichment facilities in Syria either. If there were, Israeli intelligence should know about it (in the hope that the intelligence regarding Syria today is better than the intelligence before the bombing of the nuclear reactor in 2007).

So, if there is indeed such a smuggling route via Syria and Iraq to Iran, it apparently originates from the seaports in Syria or Lebanon. This is because it can be presumed that the airports in Syria are being monitored by Israel, and it can be assumed that Iran will choose a smuggling route less exposed to Israel as far as components for its nuclear program.  

If those seaports are involved, then civilian ships, loaded, arrive at the port in Syria or Lebanon, unload the merchandise that is then accompanied by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard via a land route to the Iraq-Syria border (the location of the bombing on Tuesday), and from there, via Iraq, to Iran.    

Well, it's a very strange theory. Why would Iran use countries like Syria or Lebanon, which are known to be continuously monitored by Israel, for a secret mission for smuggling components for the nuclear program? The intelligence services of Iran weren't born yesterday, and they have been smuggling such components for Iran's nuclear program for at least two decades, from many different countries. If a person wants to smuggle something secret, that person would most probably choose to do it via less supervised routes. 

Iran can, for example, make orders from a straw company in South America, and from there, via Venezuela, bring them to Iran in oil tankers. Or in civilian flights from Caracas to Tehran. Why set up a smuggling route in the IDF's backyard? Making yourself closer to your enemy without a good enough reason is a tactical failure. 

It should be mentioned that in the past Israel used a number of narratives regarding Syria and Iraq. Starting with Iranian entrenchment, then a land route via Iraq, and now a smuggling route for the nuclear program. It's possible that the change of the narrative by Israel and the US is needed for the continued legitimacy of attacks in Syria during Biden's term in office. If it is for the Iranian nuclear program, there is no discussion on the legitimacy of the action.   

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