Thwarted Terror Attack Reveals Iranian Desperation

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This is borne out by the effect on Iran of this last round of sanctions. The ban on Iranian oil sales by the EU is a huge blow to the Iranian economy. The EU accounted for about 18% of Iranian oil exports. Iran relies on oil to generate about 80% of its public revenues, and almost all of its hard currency. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that Iranian exports had dropped from 2.5 million bbl to 1.5 million bbl in less than a year. The heavy subsidies that the Iranian government doles out for basic foodstuffs and fuel to ordinary Iranians have already been cut once, and may be cut again. Inflation is running rampant with the  prices of bread, milk and meat having risen around 20 percent, while the price of chicken has jumped 80 percent.

After years of claiming the sanctions were ineffective, the hardship has been recognized by the Iranian government. “Today, we are facing the heaviest of sanctions, and we ask people to help officials in this battle,” Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi was quoted as saying on the state television’s website. So far, the people appear to be swallowing the Iranian government’s line about “dastardly sanctions,” but Iran’s recent election saw many allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defeated because of his government’s inability to deal with the economic problems of the country.

Faced with the prospect of additional sanctions, and a possible US or Israeli military strike, Iran has escalated both its rhetoric and actions. “If they [Israel] take any action, they will hand us an excuse to wipe them off the face of the earth,” said General Amir Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guards. Hajizadeh said that the military exercises by the Guards over the next several days will send a message “that the Islamic Republic of Iran is resolute in standing up to … bullying, and will respond to any possible evil decisively and strongly.”

Most worrisome is the plan by the Guards to fire dozens of surface-to-surface missiles — including the medium-range Shabab 3 ballistic missile that has a reported range of 1,200 miles — at replica targets of foreign military bases. It is a highly provocative act, but the message the mullahs are sending cannot be misinterpreted: Any attack on its soil will be met with a missile barrage — if not at Israel then at the several US bases that are in range of Iranian weapons.

The centrifuges at Nantanz continue to whir away, enriching uranium to levels that are unnecessarily high for commercial reactors. Other sites that are undeclared by Iran that could be carrying out nuclear research, may or may not be churning out weapons-grade uranium suitable for bomb making. US intelligence dismisses that possibility, although the Israeli Mossad does not. And even though the sanctions are finally beginning to undermine the Iranian leadership and the people grow restless, the process of forcing the Iranians to give in and make a deal on their nuclear program still appears too slow to prevent Iran from constructing an actual weapon if they desire. Both the US and Israel claim the military option is still “on the table” but President Obama has all but said he wouldn’t stop the Iranians until we see the mushroom cloud of a nuclear test.

For his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu may also be backing off the idea of a military strike. There is a faction in Israel’s defense establishment that, according to this article in the Atlantic, doesn’t believe bombing would have the desired effect of setting back Iran’s nuclear program very far, and the risks of Iranian retaliation wouldn’t make it worth Israel’s while. Netanyahu himself has argued persuasively against this, but the risk of general war in the Middle East with Israel in range of thousands of rockets from Hezballah, Hamas, and Iran should make any responsible leader hesitate.

The question of whether the threat of a military attack is credible with the Iranians, given President Obama’s statements and Israel’s growing reluctance, becomes more pressing by the month. With Iran poised to acquire the capability to build a weapon, while perhaps stopping short of actually constructing one, sanctions are still a vital part of the strategy to rein in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Whether they will be enough is unknown.

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  • Bamaguje

    Any strike on Iran's nuclear facilities should also aim to takeout the Mullahs and their Revolutionary Guard goons, to facilitate regime change.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    If the Israeli's kick the can down the road the Iranians will have that road glowing in the dark.
    Russia and China are buoying Iran's economy up and they trade with ther Islamist neighbors,
    claiming a boycott is smoke and mirrors until there is real smoke mirrored in bad news.
    The big question is will the next American administration end this crazy game, Russia or
    China or Pakistan can sell nukes to Iran tomorrow and it is their thinking about the consequences
    that matters. They seem overconfident with Obama and have all of this year to prepare
    for a toothless Obama response if any………………………………………..William

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Liquidate the Islamic Regime of Iran. The good people of Persia hate the ayatollahs more than they ever hated the Shah.

      The next time the ayatollahs congregate, in Qom/Tehran, take it out.

      That will free up the oil in Persia, lower the price of oil world-wide.

    • Steve Chavez

      "Russia or China or Pakistan can sell nukes to Iran tomorrow." SELL? THEY'LL GLADLY GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED just like China gave North Korea their nukes to test only to stop any planned invasion of the North by the South and the U.S. and RUSSIA WILL GIVE IRAN A NUKE TO TEST to end any planned invasion by Israel and/or the United States. CONNECT THE DOTS!

      "THE ONLY POWER THAT CAN BRING THE DAM DOWN, IS THE WATER BEHIND IT." Steve Chavez

      • Drakken

        Sorry to rain on your parade my friend but Russia will never give the muzzys a nuke period, they have their own muslim problem and in the end side with the west over islam.

    • Chuck

      a. The Israeli's are being pressured by Obama NOT to do anything.
      b. Why is it solely the Israeli's responsibility? Remember Gulf War I when G HW Bush demanded Israel not retaliate against Iraq? It was the only time in history a country, that was capable of defending herself, was forced NOT to respond even after being attacked.

      • Cynic

        Funnyhow similar the attitude is today that decries any Israeli defense against the thousands of rockets and mortars fired into its towns and villages over the past few years.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        If I was responsible for Israel I would have told everyone to stay out of the way of Israeli
        actions. Israel destroyed Sadam's nuclear reactor and since the "80's have been wary of
        acting alone but the interests of other Nations got in the way. Unfortunately the interests
        are now not good for Israel and if things move along the way of watching and not doing
        Israel will miss the best chance to stop the inevitable attack by Iran. All of Israel's
        antagonists are motivated by Islamist hate and it surrounds them and unfortunately
        anti-Semitism is devouring the UN. Israel needs to become the most dangerous and
        determined Nation in the World and let no one play fast and loose with it's security.
        The time for Mr. Good guy is gone, show time is not going to be popular but existence
        is worth fighting for…………………………………………….William

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    The Islamic Regime of Iran is a deadly cancer trying to spread over the world.

    Cut it out to save the world.

  • Ricky Michael

    I have often wondered if this was "meant to be." If it is, then there is nothing that will change it, even if we try. That being said, we need to stop it right now, if it is possible. If Obama gets re-elected then nothing will stop this from happening unless it comes out of Israel. They will stand alone, again.

  • g_jochnowitz

    Perhaps there really Is a God, in which case He's an embittered anti-Semite. He has hardened the hearts of people in North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere against Israel. Why have the Jewish people survived in exile for millennia. God has kept us alive so that He can keep killing us. http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/AfterTheBinding….

    • Susan

      It broke my heart to read your comment, especially the line "God has kept us alive so that He can keep killing us." I understand your confusion and doubt, but you are wrong. Please get a copy of the book entitled "The Everlasing Hatred, The Roots Of Jihad" by Hal Lindsey. I believe you will find the answers to your questions there.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      jocho, UTTER NONSENSE.

      Jews have survived despite repeated attempts by EVIL MEN to wipe the Jews out.

      Yet, Jews have survived and prospered. If that doesn't show the Hand of G-D, what does?

      • g_jochnowitz

        What does it mean to survive and prosper if one-third of the Jewish population is slaughtered every 75 years or so?
        It certainly does show the hand of God. Despite the universality of prejudice, no people has ever been so hated as the Jews. It is a miracle–a negative miracle.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          If Israel is attacked with WMDs, the M.A.D. doctrine is invoked.

          MECCA Assured Destruction.

          Any devout Muslim who reveres Mecca and the Kabba and the Hajj should do everything possible to convince the ayatollahs that hitting Israel would trigger the worst Nakba ever to befall Islam.

          And don't think that only Israel is at risk.

          Would India trust the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?

          Would the US trust the Islamic Republic of Iran?

          A world without Mecca, no 12th Imam, no islamic republics.

          BTW jocho, If you are so frightened, go swallow a bottle of sleeping pills. Then you won't have any problems. Sayonara.

          • g_jochnowitz

            Fanatics devoted to anti-Semitism are suicidal. The 9-11 perpetrators were suicidal. Hitler's policies were suicidal; it's amazing that Germany fought on as long as it did, but it had to lose. Crazy Islamists are willing to suffer any catastrophe to themselves or their cause in order to do their part in ridding the world of Jewish genes.

          • Drakken

            Don't worry, when push comes to shove and it surely will, we in the west have more bullets than the muslims in the east have bodies, and we will use them liberaly.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            The ultimate pressure point with Islamofascists is Mecca.

            Kick over all the Middle East oil theocracies and Internationalize oil.

            Lower the price from $100 per barrel back to $10 and the world economy will improve.

  • Steve Chavez

    Did you see the 60 Minutes segment on the Stuxnet virus and how there was a desperate attempt to find who invented the virus and its goal of crippling Iran's nuclear program without firing a shot???

    Who are the leaders and groups involved who outed the program and whose ultimate purpose in exposing the virus was to ultimately aid Iran, and then Russia and China?

    Was it Israel and/or the United States that invented Stuxnet? Now that Iran knows, what will they do and when they do it, will the leaders and groups involved in outing the program to begin with, be to blame? Why couldn't President Obama stop those leaders and groups from exposing such an important weapon no matter who made it???

  • mrbean

    Missy Obambi has the Iranians on triple-double probation. oooooohh mmy gooodness!! China and Singapore now join 18 other nations that have been granted a complete exception from U.S. sanctions.

  • dennis metz

    I bet obummer is pi$$ed a$ a constipated possum. his plan to kill some white honkies foiled. he probably hole holder in contempt for that screw up not getting the job done

  • Ghostwriter

    I have no love for the Iranian regime. I'm not fond of the gruesome ayatollahs and I hope they one day meet a similar end.

  • KKKK

    i must say that while it is still too early to say, the might be that the sanctions are having an effect (though to what extent is still unknown). israel and america are backing off a bit from war rhetoric after it has become obvious the sanctions ARE hurting ordinary Iranians and causing deep resentment with the tehran tyrants. i'm told iran currency is devalueing, at a time when prieces for basic necesities are rising. there are tensions with the iranain regime-betwen ex-presidents and ahmadinjad and rising stars in the regime and supreme leader to name a few. there are tensions with neighbouring countries, incudling Turkey. and, the regime faces the rise of the Church-soruces say at least 370,000 (and likely many many more) Muslim Persians and Iranians inside the country have converted to Christianity in recent years. and these are just a few of the problems for the tehran tyrants. perhaps all is not lost….yet.