World Cup could be targeted by Iran: reports

A senior Israeli military intelligence official said on Monday that Iran could launch an attack on the World Cup, but could hesitate due to uncertainty about the response of the hosts, the Qataris.

Major General Aharon Haliva, the head of Israel Defense Forces Intelligence, attended the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv on Monday, speaking about the protests gripping the country and how they could affect the World Cup, soccer’s biggest international tournament. .

Ener Valencia of Ecuador scores the first goal for his team during the Group A match - Qatar World Cup 2022 between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar.

Ener Valencia of Ecuador scores the first goal for his team during the Group A match – Qatar World Cup 2022 between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar.
(Pablo Morano/PSR Agency/Getty Images)

“Iran is considering disrupting the 2022 Qatar World Cup,” Halifa said. “But the only thing stopping them – what will be the Qatari reaction?”

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Protests have continued in Iran since the death of a woman named Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police in Tehran in September, in what is being called the biggest challenge to Iran’s religious leaders since the 1979 revolution.

Not only did Amini’s killing spark outrage in Tehran, but protests spread across the country.

The country’s leaders deployed their forces to a Kurdish city to regain control of the city, which was seized by the demonstrators.

Protesters in Dag Hammarskjöld Square outside the United Nations building demonstrate against the president of the Iranian regime, Ebrahim Raisi, for his direct role in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Raisi will address the United Nations General Assembly today, September 21, 2022.

Protesters in Dag Hammarskjöld Square outside the United Nations building demonstrate against the president of the Iranian regime, Ebrahim Raisi, for his direct role in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Raisi will address the United Nations General Assembly today, September 21, 2022.
(John Mantell for Fox News Digital)

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Videos on social media showed that the streets of Mahabad were filled with military vehicles, and in one incident, Iranian forces opened fire on a crowd gathered for what was supposed to be a speech from the governor.

The Iranian regime targets the Kurdish city to suppress the protests

The current protests are unusual because of their duration and intensity, Haliva said, adding how demonstrations are changing the lines of civil riots.

The general said that this worries the Iranian regime, especially due to the growing and existing international pressures and the difficult economic situation.

Iranian football fans hold banners that read

Iranian soccer fans hold up banners reading “Woman, life, freedom and freedom for Iran,” ahead of the World Cup Group B soccer match between England and Iran at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Monday, November 21, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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“As the pressure on Iran increases, the Iranian reaction to various events becomes more aggressive,” he said. We should expect more aggressive actions by Iran in the region and the world.

As Iran outlined its next move, Halifa was adamant that the World Cup was in jeopardy.

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“I tell you that the Iranians are now thinking of reaching the World Cup in Qatar as well,” he said. “They fear the reaction of the Qataris. This trend will continue. Iran is under pressure, and this translates into aggressive actions,” he added.

Yonat Freling of Fox News contributed to this report.

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