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Alternate Reality in Iran?

Tensions are rising again between Israel and Iran. The Islamic Republic has greeted Israel’s open discussion of attacks on its nuclear sites with a barrage of threats of violent retaliation. The Washington Post reports:

Iran’s supreme leader on Thursday warned Israel and the United States that any attack on the country’s controversial nuclear program would be met with an “iron fist.”In a speech at a military academy in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “Anyone who intends to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran is living in a dream and should prepare themselves for strong slaps in the face and the iron fists of the army, Guard Corps and Basijis — in a word, the great Iranian nation.” He referred to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and members of a paramilitary force affiliated with it, the Basij. […]

Khamenei urged all Iranians to continue “with the path of national honor and international power,” signaling that Iran will not compromise in pursuing its nuclear program.

There are two ways to look at this. During President Ahmadinejad’s six-year tenure, Iran developed a reputation for strong words and thinly veiled threats against Israel.   Aside from its continuing support of Hezbollah and Hamas, however, these have rarely amounted to much more than idle talk.  Hopefully, this is more of the same, and as Iran pulls back in the face of international pressure, squid-like, it is spewing some venom and bile to cover the retreat.

That’s the hopeful interpretation.  A darker read is that the Iranians actually believe their “iron fist” is strong enough to deter either Israel, the US or both.  If Iran is living in an alternate reality and is preparing for a fight because it underestimates the strength of its enemies, it is making a costly mistake.

The danger of conflict in the Gulf is real and it is growing.  It’s important that Iran gets a grip on the strength of the forces arrayed against it; miscalculations are one of the leading causes of war.

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  • Winston

    The Iranian regime will collapse if it goes to war against any western nation including Israel. The masses inside of Iran are sick of the regime and will not rally around the regime’s flag if it is attacked. But if the US or Israel decides to attack they should go for the kill. No more 1991 Desert Storm ops. It should be Iraq 2003 or the world will end up with a more lethal regime in Iran akin to that of N. Korea.

  • Micha

    But it seems the Iranians are completely right. Israel the US, and Europe are all very hesitant about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities because they are afraid of the consequences of such an attack. Iran has done its damnedest to encourage that fear. And it seems there is a good chance that all these countries will decide not to attack and live with a nuclear Iran because of that fear.

    Is that fear justified? I don’t know. The worse case scenario assumption is that Iran will retaliate by firing missiles on Israel; having its allies fire missiles on Israel and maybe attack her in other ways; attacking American and European forces in the gulf and Afghanistan; and orchestrating or promoting terrorist attacks against Israel, against Israeli targets abroad, and against American, European and Jewish targets around the world.

    Maybe this worse case scenario is exaggerated. Maybe it won’t happen to such a degree. Maybe in later years people will write about how Iran was able to create such a frightening set of assumptions. Or maybe not. But at present the fear of such consequences seems to be affecting the policies of all the countries involved.

  • Shiblee

    First , Everyone should slam their emotion to justify this topic . Emotion always demonstrates otherwise . All claims here are based on assumption that USA military is superior than any other countries on Earth . So USA can intervene in any affair , and they will ultimately win in every aspect . They think that Iraq , Afganistan , Libiya wars are best evidence of their claim But in reality , it is totally misscalculation , derived from Emotion. The main problem is , they dont take ideological power into consideration . All nations stated above were slaves of western culture , ideas . Colonial era we have surmounted . At this time , super power control government , but dont dominate directly . USA may defeat Iran in military . But the whole Iranian nation will not accept USA or USA backed government like Iraq . All Iranians support Nuclear programme , then Can USA establish any government which will comply western power ? Can USA destroy knowledge ? Otherwise , military victory will not be easy as USA think . To invade Iran means not to invade Iran only . It is too much clear that it will pose regional war . Hammas, Hizbulah, Muslim brotherhood will not be silent . USA can not impose sanction on Iran due to China & Russia .

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    The Iranians have nothing to worry about as long as “Lead from Behind” Obama is President. Any Israeli bombing will be limited and surgical, tactical in nature rather than strategic.
    The best way to deal with Iran is by strategic bombing of their entire soft target energy industry, every power plant, every pipeline, every refinery and tank farm, shut down the entire country and put them all “on foot and in the dark”. When the oil money stops flowing, everything will change in Iran, the corrupt will go join their foreign bank accounts, the $1 Billion+ in Palestinian Terrorist funding will end, and all of our other oil producing enemies will tremble as their vulnerability is revealed.

  • rkka

    Yes, it is truly unconcionable tha the Iranian government threatens to fight back if Israel and the US attack Iran! Horror!

    And am I the only one who remembers that US intel agencies were sooo certain Iraq had a nuke weapons program?

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