Iran in the news
Why Tehran hopes for war
Suppose that the tussle over Iran’s nuclear plans goes to the Security Council — which fails to take a decision, thanks to Russian and Chinese vetoes, and America (after much huffing and puffing) launches airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear installations.
Iran’s retaliation could begin with orders to the forces it controls inside Iraq to attack U.S. and British troops. The Lebanese branch of Hezbollah would launch massive rocket attacks against Israel, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad (whose leaders spent the past month in Tehran, meeting Khamenei and his aides) would begin suicide operations against Israel from Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Iran-allied Hazara Shiites might begin strikes against Kabul, the Afghan capital, from the west, while Pushtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the remnants of the Taliban attack across all of Afghanistan.
U.S./U.K. forces might answer with a conventional attack out of Iraq. But the Iranians could retreat to the Zagross mountain range, the first line of Iran’s natural defences. The IRGC is now building several new bases to bolster this line. The bases would assure supplies for a quarter of a million troops, and provide shelter for half a million refugees from the border.
The Americans could attempt to “decapitate” Iran with cruise missiles against “regime targets” in Tehran. But the regime would already be in Mashad, protected by the Eighth Imam.
Meanwhile, Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz — thereby choking off the world supply of oil, which would surely top $100 a barrel, plunging the global economy into a crisis..
The U.N. Security Council would surely meet in emergency, perhaps forcing the U.S. to veto a vote for a ceasefire. Global TV networks would air images of “indiscriminate carnage” and “wanton destruction” in Iranian cities, while marches in Washington and dozens of other cities would feature Hollywood celebrities and others calling for impeachment.
At this point, the Iranian strategy/fantasy would expect the U.S. media and Congress to revolt against President Bush and his “pre-emptive” strategy — obliging Bush to accept a U.N.-brokered cease-fire and withdraw his forces, and the Americans to leave Iraq and Afghanistan.
The victory would bring the Islamic Republic new domestic legitimacy, allowing it proceed to crush its internal opponents as “enemies of the nation and of Islam.” It could also speed up its nuclear-weapons and long-range missile programs without being harassed by Washington.
At the next stage of what Ahmadinejad sees as “a clash of civilizations,” Iran would become “the core power” of a new “Islamic pole” in a multipolar system with China, the European Union and Latin America (under the leadership of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez) emerging as other “poles.”
The Islamic Republic would then be free to proceed to address what Khamenei has described as its “greatest historic task”: the destruction of Israel.
I would add Mugabe in Africa to that “multipolar system”.
A worst case scenario? Michael Ledeen has been pondering Iran<
The mullahs are altogether capable of deciding that events are now running strongly in their favor, and that they should strike directly at the United States. They look at us, and they see a deeply divided nation, a president who talked a lot about bringing democratic revolution to Iran and then did nothing to support it, a military that is clearly fighting in Iraq alone, and counting the days until we can say “it’s up to the Iraqis now,” and — again based on what they see in our popular press — a country that has no stomach for a prolonged campaign against the remaining terror masters in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Osama bin Laden came to similar conclusions, and ordered the events of 9/11. Why should the Iranians — who have been major supporters of the terror network ever since the 1979 revolution — not do the same?
Our main enemy, the single greatest engine in support of the terror war against us, whether Sunni or Shiite, jihadi, or secular, Arab or British or Italian or Spaniard, is Iran. There is no escape from this fact. The only questions are how long it will take us to face it, how effective we will be when we finally decide to act, and how terrible the price will be for our long delay.
As Ledeen said, “The sham nuclear negotiations were in large part a way of avoiding what should be the central issue: Iran’s central role in the terror war against the West”.