The world has been
focused on the recent diplomatic failures with Iran and the defiance
it continues to exhibit over its nuclear ambitions. Recent events
have demonstrated that the Europeans are tired of Iranian tactics
and brinkmanship. The effort to go to the UN Security Council
and impose sanctions has brought Europe and especially France
closer to the American point of view. Even Jacques Chirac threatened
Iran several weeks ago, stating publicly that France has the nuclear
option of protecting itself from a rogue state with nuclear weapons.
While this unity is
designed with the intent of halting Iran’s nuclear weapons
program, the Western allies often ignore the broader implications
of Iran seeking to achieve its foreign policy and national security
Iran continues to
threaten Israel, fund terrorism, and to accelerate its nuclear
weapons program. In addition to its holocaust denial scenario
and defiance of its major European trading partners, Iran has
not only specific goals for its foreign policy but military plans
to defend itself.
2005 the Atlantic Monthly laid out a scenario of how
Israel might attack Iran. The magazine even contained an interactive
full color DVD complete with illustrations and Israeli jets striking
targets in Iran. Later the Pentagon revealed its own potential
attack plan suggesting a major military strike by American warships.
This scenario has hundreds of new cruise and tomahawk missiles
being launched by our carriers, submarines and Arleigh Burke destroyers
based in the Persian Gulf. Rumors abounded the U.S. also had two
secret Special Forces bases near Iran ready to drop commandoes
against selected Iranian sites.
The Israelis recently
acquired newly-developed U.S. bunker busters that can penetrate
deep into the Iranian nuclear research and development facilities.
The U.S. says there are about 477 targets that can be destroyed
by air attacks and missile attacks. The Israelis claim they only
need to take out about 50 key nuclear sites to set the Iranian
program back 5 to 7 years or longer. Both the American and Israeli
scenarios are designed to take out nuclear facilities, not to
invade Iran or destroy major cities. Although some of the various
scenarios may be designed as disinformation on the part of both
the Americans and Israelis, the Iranians are taking these potential
attack scenarios seriously.
are the likely Iranian responses?
thing to recognize is the difference between Iran and Iraq. Prior
to the last Iraq War, rumors circulated that the Iraqis had plans
of WMD attacks, terrorists in the U.S. (or channeling terrorist
to the U.S. from France and the UK) and also had a strong Revolutionary
Guard that would inflict heavy casualties on the Americans and
Twenty-one days after
the start of hostilities, Iraq was defeated and there were no
WMD attacks and not a single terrorist attack outside Iraqi borders.
The Iranians have
designed a much different defensive strategy. They know the U.S.
is neither capable nor interested in a ground war invasion. They
know that both Israel and America seeks to destroy only its nuclear
facilities not invade or destroy its cities. Some radical mullahs,
as apart of a doomsday type cult in Iran, however, truly believe
the U.S. is intent on destroying the centuries old Persian culture.
also knows that U.S. foreign policy, urged on by Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait and Israel, want to see a non-fundamentalist regime in
Iran be the dominant leader in the region.
Iranians have interpreted all of these potential actions as signs
of disrespect (in every negotiating session with the European
Union the Iranians have commented that the U.S. shows them no
last five years the Iranians have also created the following defensive
the development of several, maybe up to 5 nuclear bombs, coupled
with a deployment strategy of missile technology gained from Pakistan,
China and North Korea. These missiles are now capable of being
equipped with nuclear weapons could hit Israel, London and most
of the 7th Fleet targets (American ships and bases in the Persian
2) Iran has
fully-trained and equipped terrorists established in the USA,
Venezuela, Mexico and probably Canada. These operatives may have
weapons of mass destruction and also have plans to bomb American
shopping centers and/or symbolic targets to create fear and mass
panic that will hopefully damage the American economy.
are zealots who may and probably will engage in suicide bombings.
These particular spy/terrorists are compartmentalized from and
not part of Hezbollah who have their bases in Venezuela, Canada
and covert operatives in the USA.
at targets within Europe. The French government under Chirac in
2003 made the mistake of issuing over 5,000 visas for Iranian
“students” to come to France. France was trying to
placate its own Islamic community and ingratiate itself with oil
rich Iran. Many of these Iranian students obtained French passports
and then migrated to Canada, Venezuela and some to the USA.
The Iranians have
every intention of retaliating against an attack on their soil.
They believe that negotiations with Europe, the UN and the U.S.
are over and they could care less about economic sanctions.
Iran is also not interested
in using “oil” as a weapon. They know the U.S. has
many new sources of oil, huge reserves, and that the U.S. believes
a one week attack against Iranian nuclear targets would not significantly
impact the world economy. American diplomats have assured the
European Union, China, Japan and its other closest allies any
attack on Iran would be over in a week or less. The Iranians also
know this and know oil can’t be used as a weapon.
Some of the moderate
mullahs in Iran believe an attack, while devastating to their
nuclear ambitions, would not destroy their religion, culture or
their fundamentalist Islamic government. The more radical leadership
is seeking to destroy Israel once and for all and aiming also
to seriously damage the United States through terrorist attacks.
link here is the failure of diplomacy and a fait accompli that
war is looming. While the Bush Administration is suggesting radio
broadcasts to encourage dissidents in Iran, its real strategy
is to have the EU and Russia do more to pressure Iran and to even
have Republican and Democrats forge a unified front to demand
Bush to take military action. The Bush Administration is still
smarting over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq, and it wants our European allies and Congress to call
for military action against Iran. While it is likely there will
be much rhetoric on all sides between now and the November Congressional
elections, it is highly likely any military action will take place
after November 2006 and toward the remaining months of the Bush
Patrick Quirk is the author of a number of books and articles
on national security and intelligence. He can be contacted at