By AVI PERRY
With the evident breakdown of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran over its nuclear program and the onset of the EU embargo on Iranian oil export, the ayatollah’s regime has reached a point where the corner it’s being pushed into has been growing narrower. Consequently, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, similar to a cornered predator, tries to salvage its vanity by flaunting its sharp teeth.
Iranian Chief of Staff Gen. Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi said that Tehran has a plan for closing the Strait of Hormuz where more than a third of the world’s seaborne oil exports pass through. He added that these plans include various other military designs for different situations.
Iran has just conducted three days of military exercises aimed at spotlighting the Islamic republic’s strength in the face of increasing Western pressure over Tehran’s nuclear program. The Revolutionary Guards said the maneuvers would demonstrate Iran’s capablity of mounting a “crushing” response to any hostile act from other nations.
To reinforce that point, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force declared that the IRGC has prepared comprehensive contingency plans to attack 35 American military bases in the region “within minutes” of an American military strike on his country.
What’s more, in a recent twist, Iran’s spy chief accused German and French intelligence agencies on Friday of involvement in killings of its nuclear scientists. The Islamic Republic has previously accused Israel, the United States and Britain of the slayings in order to hold up its nuclear program. Apparently, this recent finger-pointing is calculated to signify the Iranian opposition to any deal with the EU on the nuclear issue.
Nevertheless, there has been a major quiet buildup of American military forces in the Persian Gulf. According to the New York Times, The U.S. Navy, “has doubled the number of minesweepers assigned to the region to eight vessels,” while the Air Force has, since late spring, deployed “stealthy F-22 and older F-15C warplanes” at U.S. bases in the region. These warplanes are in addition to “combat jets already in the region and the carrier strike groups that are on constant tours of the area.”
In addition, it has been reported that the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport and docking ship that has been converted into an “Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB),” has entered the Persian Gulf. The ship supports a helicopter landing deck and can be used as a floating staging area for attacks on Iran.
Although the official message to Iran according to the Times is “Don’t even think about retaliating by either closing the Strait of Hormuz or harassing commercial shipping in the Gulf” the unofficial intent is “Go ahead, make my day.”
Unfortunately, the breakdown in negotiations with Iran over their quest for nuclear weapons leaves no option on the table other than a military one. At the same time, the American public is in no mood for another war, and the Obama administration is reluctant to initiate one several months before the November elections; the voters may not approve of a U.S. preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities at this time.
On the other hand, should Iran initiate such an attack, the American nation may view it as an incident equivalent to 9-11 or Pearl Harbor. An Iranian attack on an American military vessel will serve as a justification and a pretext for a retaliatory move by the U.S. military against the Iranian regime with the full backing of the American public.
But retaliation may not be confined to the vicinity of the Iranian attack.
Given the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) declaration that it has prepared a comprehensive contingency plans to attack 35 American military bases in the region “within minutes” of an American military strike on its country, the U.S. military must counter that threat. It will have to retaliate by attacking Iran’s navy, her military installations, missile silos and airfields. The US has no choice but to target Iran’s ability to retaliate against its bases. And the U.S. must scrap Iran’s designs for closing down the Strait of Hormuz as well.
Except why would the IRGC initiate a confrontation, which may lead to their own demise? The answer is embedded in the Middle Eastern Islamic culture. The Iranian regime is stuck in a macho syndrome. It blinds their rational reasoning; it prevents the Mullahs from breaking off their quest for nuclear weapons even in the face of severe sanctions or even a prospect of military action by the U.S. Their bold rhetoric must have convinced some Iranian military officers that they can defeat America. The recurring Iranian threats and their frequent confidence boasting in their military might must have persuaded some hot-headed Iranian officers that President Obama will never commit to an all-out war against them for fear of a devastating Iranian retaliation.
It may not take much for one trigger-happy Iranian to light the match in that combustible oil-filled theatre.
One little match — that’s all it would take to have the blaze fired up.
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at Paltalk News Network, is the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks,” and more recently, “72 Virgins,” a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government. More information is available at www.aviperry.org.