Iran warns U.S., Israel of revenge after parade attack; Missile Attack on U.S. Forces?

(Reuters) Iran warns U.S., Israel of revenge after parade attack. Quoting,

The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned U.S. and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a “devastating” response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.

(CNN) Iran blames the US and Saudi Arabia for military parade attack quotes Ramezan Sharif with a theory that is actually plausible. Quoting,

Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the attackers were affiliated with a terrorist group supported by Saudi Arabia, Iran’s state-run Press TV said.

“The individuals who fired at the people and the armed forces during the parade are connected to the al-Ahvaziya group, which is fed by Saudi Arabia,” Sharif said. Saudi Arabia hasn’t responded to the allegations.

The “Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement” in Ahwaz, a southwestern province with a large Sunni minority and slightly seditious tendencies, denies responsibility. ISIS, who frequently claims responsibility for attacks they did not carry out, offered no corroboration of their claim. The upshot is that no claim is accompanied by proof, and there is no contradiction of denials.

The al-Ahvaziya group, still lacking proof, is a partial exception. With support from Saudi Arabia, it could have operated without support from Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement. To Saudi, faced with shooting down Iranian manufactured missiles that have caused deaths, support of the group would be retribution in kind, the common mode of thought in that region.

Neither the U.S. or Israel had anything to do with it. But the  pain of sanctions has motivated Iran to repurpose the event in the service of hard line unity against the traditional national enemies, one of which is defined by the constitution of Iran. It gives the hardliners the grist they need to silence Iranian progressives.  It doesn’t help that Rudy Giuliani (The Guardian) gives speeches to the MEK and   pushes the revolution-in-Iran line. (Newsweek) Rudy Giuliani Says US Will Overthrow Iranian Regime, Blowing Official White House Line.

Hence, the question. Why does Iran use maximum volume to implicate Israel and the U.S., with a little less volume against Saudi?  Iran has transferred to Iraqi Shiite militia proxies the indigenous capability to assemble missiles. (Reuters) Exclusive: Iran moves missiles to Iraq in warning to enemies. As with the similar capability transferred to Yemen’s Houthis, the purpose of the transfer is to facilitate plausible denial. Neither group actually has the indigenous industrial base to make all the parts.

Since the spin on the parade attack appears to be part of a logical process, there is probably a logical reason, with a focal response, such as attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq,  by ground, missile, or a combination of both.

In Iran Sanctions; Bolton on Regime Change, I suggested that the probabilities favor Iran’s response as actions we don’t want, rather than what we do want, specifically, “”chance of positive outcome to sanctions = 14%”. This is really  just a recapitulation of Carl von Clausewitz. The enemy will react. Tactical and diplomatic brilliance are required to cause the enemy to choose the path of our choice, not his. Quoting (italics mine),

“But everything takes a different shape when we pass from abstractions to reality. In the former, everything must be subject to optimism, and we must imagine the one side as well as the other striving after perfection and even attaining it. Will this ever take place in reality?”

and

But it is necessary for us to commence with a glance at the nature of the whole, because it is particularly necessary that in the consideration of any of the parts their relation to the whole be kept constantly in view.

About the U.S. strategic position, several things may be noted:

  • As noted in Israel says Iran lied on nuclear arms, pressures U.S. to scrap deal, the international ecosystem has blunted the full impact of sanctions.
  • The delicacy of the U.S. position in Iraq is suggested  by inaction in the form of strikes against the missile transfers.
  • The inaction may also be to allow potential targets to ripen. But it does not negate the above.

U.S. planners may feel that air strikes against these facilities could provoke something related to the prediction of  9/29/2017, given in The Kurd Referendum; Implications for U.S. Policy. Quoting,

Unless Brinton’s sequence can be averted, the U.S. position will become untenable. The nature of extremists could make resolution impossible. The curtain on this conflict rises perhaps a year, or a bit more, from now.

If Iran’s planners read von Clausewitz, a missile attack by Iran’s proxies would not be the single mode. It would be accompanied by ground attacks to inflict synergistic pain. As with the U.S. sanctions objective, the Iranian objective will be to make continued U.S. presence in Iraq a question of U.S.  politics.

 

 

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