Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - September 18 - IRAN READYING FOR CONFLICT WITH US - New Intelligence Reports
Posted on 09/18/2005 9:36:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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Iran Readying for Conflict With USAmir Taheri
Incredible though it may sound there are signs that Tehran may be preparing for a military confrontation with the United States, and has convinced itself that it could win.
The first sign came last June with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the Islamic Republic, an event that completed the conquest of all levers of power by the most radical elements of the establishment.
Since then the revolutionary factions have conducted a little publicized purge of the military, the security, the civil service, and state-owned corporations and media.
The most significant purges have affected the military high command.
Among those replaced are the defense minister, the commander-in-chief of the regular army and his four deputies, 11 senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and five commanders of the paramilitary Mobilization of the Dispossessed. Some of the purged officers have been parked in a mysterious new organ called The Defense Guidance Commission attached to the office of the Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi.
The minister of intelligence and security and the minister of the interior, who controls the police and the gendarmerie, have also been replaced.
Another sign that Tehran may be preparing for war is the appointment of military officers to posts normally held by civilians, such as governors, mayors and directors of major public corporations.
But, perhaps, the surest sign yet is the military build up under way in the five provinces bordering Iraq. The region, with a population of 20 millions, has been put under the control of the IRGC which has also taken over units of the regular army, including the 88th Division, and the border police. Iran is estimated to have 250,000 troops in the area, its biggest military build-up since the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.
One of the first acts of the new Cabinet led by Ahmadinejad was to approve an emergency fund of $700 million to be disbursed at the discretion of the supreme guide for sacred defense purposes.
The new administration has also decided to speed up defense disbursements under a five-year plan approved by Khamenehi last year. The plan aims at doubling the military budget by 2010. But it now seems that, thanks to rising oil revenues, most of the plan could be completed by 2008.
In the past few weeks top regime figures, including Khamenehi and Ahmadinejad, have made a series of unscheduled visits to Mashhad, Irans second largest city. One curious fact revealed during these visits is that a bunker-like structure to house the supreme guide is being completed close to the holy shrine of Reza, the eighth imam. The complex could also house the top echelon of government, including the president, the Cabinet and members of the Islamic Majlis (Parliament).
The choice of Mashhad is not accidental. The city is located 1,000 km from Tehran and thus as far as possible inside Iran from American fire power in Iraq and the Gulf. The US is also expected to shrink from attacks against the Mashhad bunker for fear of collateral damage to the holy shrine of the imam a few hundred yards away.
The summers comings-and-goings in Mashhad have provoked rumors that Khamenehi plans to appoint Abbas Vaez Tabasi, the mulla who runs the eighth imams foundation, as deputy supreme guide, just in case!
The belief that the Americans would not attack sites close to holy shrines has also led to the creation of a massive new military base at Fadak, a suburb of the holy city of Qom where the eighth imams sister is buried, south of Tehran. Work on the base that covers an area of 7.2 square km started in August.
Piecing together the bits of the jigsaw one may guess the outline of Tehrans scenario for what it believes is an inevitable clash with the US:
The diplomatic tussle over Irans nuclear plans goes to the Security Council that will fail to take a decision thanks to Russian and Chinese vetoes.
The US, after much huffing and puffing launches air strikes against Irans nuclear installations. (Tehran loves Israel to also participate because that would give the Islamic Republic a better claim to be fighting on behalf of Islam as a whole.)
Iran retaliates by ordering the forces it controls inside Iraq to attack American and British troops. At the same time the Lebanese branch of the Hezbollah launches massive rocket attacks against Israel while Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, whose leaders spent the past month in Tehran meeting Khamenehi and his aides, organize a wave of suicide operations against Israel from Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The US and its British allies, stationed in southern Iraq, launch a three-pronged attack, from Shalamcheh, Hamroun and Shatt Al-Arab to seize control of Khuzestan, the province that accounts for 70 percent of Irans oil production.
Iranian Special Forces attack Iraq from the Zaynalkosh salient, south of the Kurdish provinces, some 80 km from Baghdads first defenses in Baaqubah.
Hazara Shiites strikes against Kabul, the Afghan capital, from Maydanshahr while Pushtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the remnants of the Taleban, some of whom are under Iranian protection, attack across Afghanistan.
The Americans and their allies attack Khuzestan.
Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz.
The Americans attack the Iranian provinces of Kermanshahan and Kurdistan.
US-led forces attack across the Mandali-Ilam axis. The Iranians retreat to the Zagross mountain range, the first line of Irans natural defenses. (To fight along the Zagross the IRGC is building new bases at Khorramabad, Pessyan, Borujerd, Zagheh and Malayer in the province of Luristan. The bases would assure the logistics of a quarter of a million troops, and provide temporary shelter for half a million refugees from the border. These bases will complement older ones further west, at Sahneh and Kangavar. )
Oil prices top $100 and the global economy plunges into a crisis.
Americans launch cruise missiles against regime targets in Tehran. But the regime is already in Mashhad.
Global TV networks air images of indiscriminate carnage and wanton destruction in Iranian cities.
The Security Council meets in emergency and orders a cease-fire while the American media and Congress revolt against President George W Bush and his pre-emptive strategy.
Anti-Bush marches in Washington and dozens of other cities with Hollywood figures and other celebrities calling for Bush to be overthrown.
Bush accepts a UN-brokered cease-fire and withdraws his forces.
The Islamic Republic emerges victorious from what Ahmadinejad sees as a clash of civilizations.
The Americans leave Iraq and Afghanistan as Bush becomes a lame duck for the rest of his presidency.
The Islamic Republic gains new domestic legitimacy and proceeds to crush its opponents as enemies of the nation and of Islam.
Iran can speed up making its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles without being harassed by Washington.
Iran becomes the core power of a new Islamic pole in a multipolar system with China, the European Union and Latin America, Under the Bolivarist leadership of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez emerging as other poles.
Bushs successor acknowledges Irans new status and sends Bill Clinton, who apologized to Iran for our past misdeeds in 2000, to Tehran to offer another formal apology on behalf of Bushs successor and offer Ahmadinejad a grand bargain.
The Islamic Republic is now free to proceed to address what Khamenehi has described as its greatest historic task which is the destruction of Israel.
Sounds outlandish? Well, it is. The Islamic Republic is a fragile structure in a zone of political earthquakes. Logically, the last thing it should want is war. Nevertheless, former President Muhammad Khatami has warned that Tehran may be boxing itself into a position in which it will either have to surrender or fight.
And finally, Media Clips:
- Iranian blogger, Mehrangiz Kar, Rooz Online reported that in Iran these days there is talk of replacing detention and flogging as forms of punishment with something more human.
- Iranian blogger, Mehdrad Sheibani, Rooz Online reported that President Ahmadinejad surprisingly spoke of the grandeur of Iranians. Yes, these are the words of a president whose normal speeches at home repeat Islam or Islamic in every sentence he pronounces.
- SMCCDI (Information Service) reported that Iranian political activists gathered, yesterday afternoon, in front of the building which is hosting the Islamic Republic regime's Representation Office at the UN.
- Iranian blogger, Vahid Sabetian, Rooz Online reported that the new hardline government of Iran has tasked the new Minister of Justice to write the bill for defining political crimes in Iran.
- Kenneth R. Timmerman, NewsMax reported that former hostage from the U.S. embassy in Tehran, said: out of his 51 interrogations, Ahmadinejad personally had conducted one-third of them.
- BBC News reported that the UK government has described as "unhelpful" a speech by the Iranian president in which he asserted Iran's right to produce nuclear energy.
- Ynet News reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with South African President Thabo Mbeki and asked him to advance the referral of Irans nuclear program to discussion at the United Nations Security Council.
- Roger Kimball, The NY Sun reported on the Hitchens, Galloway clash ina debate on the Iraq War. Plus a video.
- CNN reported that Iran's president is absolutely "determined" to pursue a nuclear energy program and will "use every resource" it has to battle the United States and European nations trying to prevent it.
- Reuters reported that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the United Nations on Saturday to stand up to Iran.
- The Financial Times reported that Iran is seeking a compromise in its nuclear-fuel stand-off.
- The Washington Times reported cracks appeared in the U.S.-European diplomatic drive to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program, when Paris would not object to Mr. Ahmadinejad's suggestion that Iran share its nuclear energy technology with other Islamic countries.
- IranMania reported that Iran's President Ahmadinejad met with UN Chief Kofi Annan. a photo.
I don't think that's quite the same as reporting that Condi and/or Bush and/or Blair walked out on him.
I did catch a glimpse of a mostly empty assembly hall while he was speaking.
Guess they didn't get the memo about the change to our nuclear policy.