3 Israeli Covert Options vs Iran’s Nuclear Program

Covert action vs. Iran (Archive)

The possibility of a large Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear project has received significant attention. However, this is not the only option for Israel to sabotage Tehran’s threatening program.

Behind the scenes, Israel’s intelligence services have a range of other tactics and tools to disrupt Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This covert war continues under the radar and could target strategic Iranian assets unexpectedly. Here are three options:

Insider sabotage

Israel could disrupt Tehran’s project from the inside by activating agents within Iran’s nuclear program. Mossad likely recruited insiders already to collect sensitive information on Tehran’s progress, including technological details and strategic plans. But more drastic steps could follow as Iran moves closer to the danger zone.

Israel’s agents could also sabotage critical systems, key components, and equipment at vital sites to slow down Iran’s nuclear progress. While these are high-risk moves, Iranian efforts to weaponize the program will trigger bolder actions on Israel’s part.

Agents who carry out sabotage ops will likely not be able to continue as spies and will need an escape route out of Iran. But this is a price Israel may be willing to pay under certain circumstances.  

New disruptive technology

Israel’s intelligence arms could use their technological expertise to create new tools to hinder Iran’s program. Even now, Israeli teams may be developing a new type of malware or cyber weapon to disrupt critical systems or nuclear infrastructure.

Notably, past operations attributed to Israel targeted Iranian computer systems and networks. Most famously, the highly sophisticated Stuxnet computer virus caused extensive damage at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. It is widely believed that it was a joint US-Israel effort to disrupt Iran’s project.

Both Mossad and the IDF have strong cyber capabilities and other high-tech tools at their disposal. Some are very secretive and will only be utilized at times of significant crisis.

Attacking supply chains

In addition to sabotaging strategic sites, Israel could target the supply chains that support Iran’s nuclear program. Disrupting the flow of critical components and materials would make it more difficult for Iran to advance the project rapidly.

Israel could use its vast intel capabilities to identify key players in the supply chain, monitor their activities, and track shipments. Mossad agents can then be ordered to interdict deliveries or sabotage production facilities.

Overall, Israel has a range of options if it wishes to disrupt and delay Tehran’s nuclear program. While a military assault is a high-profile possibility, covert actions such as pinpoint sabotage and technological warfare are essential tools in Jerusalem’s arsenal. Israel’s leaders will likely use them before ordering a massive airstrike in Iran.