I spent much of my professional life deployed forward in the Arabian Gulf and encountered Iranian naval forces there on many occasions.

They were uniformly unprofessional, confrontational and clearly seized with making life as difficult as possible for both legitimate merchant shipping and naval warships from the many nations with whom the Iranians have intractable differences. They are cowardly in the face of opposing military forces, but dangerous and unpredictable.

As I watch the situation in Gaza escalate, I fear the chances of Iran intervening by unleashing the 130,000 missiles Hezbollah has been storing to the north of Israel rising. Immediately after Hamas’ shameful and devastating attack on Israel on Oct. 7, I would have assessed the chances of a direct or proxy intervention by Iran at around 10%. But as world opinion begins to turn against Israel in the wake of inevitable civilian casualties in Gaza, Iran is becoming more emboldened.