Almost literally in the wake of a massive U.S. cruise missile submarine, the USS Georgia, openly entering the Persian Gulf, Israeli media reported that an Israeli attack submarine had crossed the Suez Canal into the Red Sea in another very rare move. The U.S. submarine transit which I wrote about here, is a clear message to Iran not to retaliate for the U.S. strike on Iranian terror master Qasem Soleimani on the strike’s anniversary Jan. 3.
The Israeli Dolphin II-class submarine is reportedly headed for the Persian Gulf in possible preparation for any Iranian retaliation over the November assassination of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Iran blamed Israel, which has been implicated in several killings of Iranian nuclear scientists, for the November assassination of Fakhrizadeh.
Both strikes against top Iranian military leaders have given Iran motive to retaliate, and Iranian officials have repeatedly vowed to take revenge on Israeli or U.S. targets in the region. The troubled presidential transition in the U.S. may also give Iran the idea that now is a good time to retaliate.