Iranian Intelligence failure in Yemen
SecurityMiddleEast.com talks again to 5 Dimension Consultants about issues in Yemen and the possible Iranian reaction to the Saudi led airstrikes against the Iranian backed Houthi rebels.
“The Iranian leadership’s response to the air strikes by the Saudi led coalition against Iran’s allies in Yemen was mute by Iran’s normal vocal standards. GCC security agencies are increasing security measures to protect vital infrastructure against acts of sabotage.
The Iranian leadership’s reaction to the Saudi led strikes against the Houthis in Yemen appeared as if Iran was taken by surprise. Already questions are being asked in Iran on how the Iranian intelligence services missed the signs that the Saudi military buildup was did not appear as a “bluff” on the part of the Saudis” said Aimen Dean the Managing Director of 5 Dimension Consultants.
He added, “The Iranian intelligence as well as the IRGC are now under pressure to compensate for such a significant intelligence failure. The pressing question for GCC security agencies is what form of retaliation the Iranian intelligence and IRGC will deploy to compensate for such a failure in anticipating the Saudi/GCC moves?”
According to a senior Saudi security official, the fear is that Iran could activate sleeper cells in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Bahrain in particular is vulnerable as there are already active cells who have been involved in previous bombings within the country, that have claimed the lives of dozens of security officers.
Dean expanded “A known Bahraini terror group with suspected links to Iran “Saraya al-Ashtar” threatened to target Saudi’s interests in Bahrain last week.”
Bahrain is a host of tens of thousands of Saudi visitors on weekly basis. If Saudi citizens were to be killed in attacks in Bahrain, this is likely to lead to further escalation in the conflict.
According to a senior official within the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs, the Saudi government sent a message to the Iranian leadership via Oman that any Iranian linked terror attack targeting Saudi or any other GCC country would not go unpunished. The Saudi government is hoping that such warning, as well as the participation of major regional powers in the display of force against Iran’s regional ambitions in Yemen, will dissuade Iran from retaliating with clandestine terror/sabotage attacks.
Dean said his team have been monitoring the developing situation closely and said “In our assessment Iran’s options for retaliation without the risk of major escalation are very few indeed, if non-existent. Therefore the Iranian leadership will have to weigh their options carefully, especially with the nuclear negotiations hanging in the balance, and with it the Iranian economy.”
5 Dimension Consultants are based in Dubai.