As Israel increases its attacks on Iranian nuclear sites and scientists, current and former U.S. officials said it has not been keeping its American counterparts updated on its actions, CNN reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, as U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to Israel and other Middle Eastern states draws nearer, military and intelligence officials in the United States are keeping a lookout for signs of an escalation between Israel and the Islamic Republic, considering the rising rate of strikes attributed to Israel on Iran.
Last month, a senior member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Sayyad Khodaei, was assassinated on in front of his home in Tehran, and other reported assassinations of military figures and scientists involved in weapons programs followed. Khodaei was likely behind a series of plots against Israeli businesspeople and diplomats in various countries this year.
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CNN's report said that a U.S. official and "another source briefed on the intelligence" confirmed that Iran was behind Khodaei's assassination, as had previously been reported by the New York Times. It added that Israel has kept the Biden administration in the dark about these operations, neither updating the officials beforehand nor discussing its role in them afterward.
The administration, it reported, is not interfering in Israel's operations, and has not told Israel to stop them, current and former U.S. officials said. In response to Israel's operations, Iran has raised its aerospace defense force alert levels, one official said. This may indicate an Iranian willingness to retaliate.
Iran has arrested what it says is a network of three Mossad-linked agents that was planning to assassinate scientists involved in the country's nuclear program, Arab and Iranian media reported on Monday. "The three were planning to assassinate our nuclear scientists according to intelligence assessments," judiciary official Mehdi Shamsabadi said, without specifying the nationality of the detainees.
Amid Iranian threats that followed the assassination of Khodaei, Israel's National Security Council revised its travel warning to Turkey, saying that Iranian cells operating in the country are seeking to kill or kidnap Israelis. Over the past week, Israeli defense officials warned that the threat level in Istanbul is particularly high, as the cells have begun to despair at Turkey and Israel's thwarting of these attacks.