Israel Has Solid Intel That Iran Carried Out Attacks on Gulf Tankers, Mossad Chief Says

Yossi Cohen also says there is a rare opportunity for Israel to reach a regional peace with its Mideast neighbors

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran, June 13, 2019.

Iran is responsible for the recent attacks in the Gulf, Israel's Mossad chief asserted Monday, citing the "best sources of Israeli and Western intelligence agencies."

Speaking at a Herzliya conference, Yossi Cohen said that these attacks – which included targeting oil tankers, Saudi airports and sites in Baghdad – were approved by Iran's leadership and most were carried out by the Revolutionary Guard and its proxies.

"Through these attacks," said Cohen, "Iran is trying to tell the world it is not afraid of an escalation, and that if sanctions are not removed or eased it will cause serious harm to the global oil market."

>> Read more: Trading insults rather than kinetic blows, U.S. and Iran could still end up at the table ■ Something stopped Trump from striking Iran, and it wasn't 150 lives  ■ The Gulf state that might get Israel and Iran talking

Cohen also said that there is a unique and perhaps historic window of opportunity to achieve regional piece, citing common interests against enemies such as Iran and Jihadist terrorism on one hand, and Israel's close relationship with the White House and the Kremlin on the other.

On Sunday, defense establishment sources warned that Israel’s standing among moderate Arab countries such as Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia could be damaged by Israeli policies which emphasize its religious character rather than its democratic one.

Mossad director Yossi Cohen attends a cybersecurity conference at Tel Aviv University, June 25, 2019.