A previous post detailed a CFR article making the case that the USA should strike Iran’s nuclear facilities now rather than wait until later when Iran has nuclear weapons. Several new developments are indicating that war with Iran could, indeed, be drawing nearer.
To recap them quickly, Iran is consistently threatening to block oil shipments via the Straits of Hormuz (see first link below), another top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated to impede the Iranian nuclear program (see second link), the US Navy is stationing a second aircraft carrier battle group in or near the Persian Gulf area of potential conflict (see third link), and (importantly) Iran has retaliated against the USA and the West by announcing that it will refuse to accept US dollars for oil shipments to China, India and Japan (see fourth link). This vital story has been largely spiked from western media coverage as it could cause a run on the US dollar and skyrocketing oil, commodity and precious metal prices if the masses found out about this development.
The fourth link has additional important information: that it was Russia’s idea for Iran to stop accepting US dollars for oil shipments and that Russian-Iranian bilateral trade deals will also henceforth exclude the US dollar. These actions further undercut the US dollar’s role as a global reserve currency as more nations (even US allies) are taking steps to eliminate the increasingly-debased US dollar from their international trade actions (a recent post reported that Japan and China are also taking actions to eliminate US dollars from their bilateral transactions). Combined, these actions are a growing vote of international “no confidence” in the US dollar, but that is not the focus of this post.
The fifth link (a brief intro for a longer article) indicates that the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia are considering taking military action against Iran, but that US dithering may cause Israel and Saudi Arabia to “go it alone” in attacking Iran. If Saudi Arabia joins the Israelis (and/or Americans) in attacking Iran, it is likely that Kuwait, Jordan, and the Gulf Cooperation Council nations (all Sunni Arab nations like Saudi Arabia) will also support the attack. Interestingly, now that the US military has exited Iraq, Iraqi airspace is now largely clear for Israeli warplanes to attack Iran with tacit Sunni Arab permission. The Sunni Arab nations are gravely threatened by Iran’s militarism and nuclear programs so they have a very strong motivation to help anyone who attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The final link is a very cogently written column by Reza Kahlili, a “pseudonym” for a former CIA agent who penetrated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces. His column, which appeared in the Washington Times, makes many good points. He asserts that Iran’s leaders “are preparing for war,” and that the USA and Israel may have to deliver that war “soon.” In such a war, he states the Iranians will attempt to undermine the Saudi rulers, overthrow the Bahraini monarchy and help Islamists undermine military rule in Egypt. My previous post discusses a CFR article calling for an American military strike vs. Iran soon, but my commentary on that article felt that the CFR article was naive in its belief that Iran would happily go along with US plans for a very limited war in the region. I argued that an angry Iran, if attacked, will likely launch strikes vs. US bases in the entire Mideast region, including vs. US bases and troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Kahlili’s article agrees. He even names the “extensive list of US bases” likely to come under US attack. The list includes US military bases in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. US Navy ships would also surely come under intense attacks from land-based and ship-launched cruise missiles as well as torpedo and mine attacks. If Iran sinks unarmed oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, it could essentially shut down oil shipments via the Straits of Hormuz even if it can’t actually blockade the Strait as maritime insurance costs in that region would become so expensive no tanker could risk traversing the Persian Gulf.
There are two other dangers. One danger is that it is not only Iranian missiles that would be launched at US Navy ships and other US military bases in the region. I would not be surprised at all if Iran’s backers, Russia and China, have already placed batteries of their most sophisticated cruise missiles and air-defense equipment in Iran to be used against the US and any western military forces that are in the area. Such weaponry would be operated by Russian and Chinese technicians, but Iranian forces would be given the credit if the Russian and Chinese missiles damaged or sank US warships and damaged US military bases throughout the Mideast. China especially wants to know if its new weaponry can sink US carriers and they must be “itching” for a chance to use their new weaponry against US carriers in actual wartime operations while maintaining a plausible deniability of being involved. By letting their technicians fight under Iranian flags, they would achieve that goal. Given this real possibility, US forces should be advised to be under the highest level of alert if they engage Iranian forces in a Mideast War as the “Iranian” forces they engage may actually be Russian and Chinese forces launching weaponry far more advanced than anything Iran has developed domestically for its own arms industry.
One last danger: if Iran becomes convinced that it is about to be attacked, why should it wait to absorb a first punishing blow from US, Israeli and allied forces? Iran may decide to strike first to make sure it can inflict the greatest possible damage on US and allied forces. If its first strike includes unleashing tens of thousands of Iranian-supplied missiles under Hezbollah control in South Lebanon against Israeli targets, you can be sure the Israelis are not going to refrain from attacking Iran in a very harsh manner. Indeed, the Israeli response is likely to be so harsh that all nations in the region will be deterred from ever attacking the Israelis again.
An Iranian war against the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia or NATO forces in Afghanistan would, effectively, be the first round in the great Gog-Magog alliance’s war against the nations of NATO and their allies prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 to occur in the latter days of our age. I expect a US/Israeli victory if a Mideast war occurs, but don’t get overjoyed. Russia and China may use this war simply for the purpose of evaluating their latest weaponry against US weaponry to see how close they are to confidently launching a future global attack against the USA, NATO and their allies (which Ezekiel 38-39 prophesies is certain to occur in the years ahead of us). I urge readers to examine my articles What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveals About a Future World War III [PDF] and Should Christians Prepare for Future Hard Times? to get ready for the epic events that may lie ahead of us in a few years or perhaps less.
As Mideast/Persian Gulf events become more bellicose and more military forces gather and are put on alert, the trends toward a shooting war can begin to take on a relentless momentum of their own that leads inevitably to war. While it is still possible that war may be averted, war preparations in the Mideast are now taking on an accelerating momentum of their own toward a shooting war.