WASHINGTON, (BM) – Iran understands that it is not in its interests to carry out any attacks against US interests in the Middle East, including third parties. Confidence in this was expressed on Thursday by the US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
“I am always in active discussions with the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff [USF] and the Secretary of Defense about what forces we need to contain Iran as we intend to convince them [the Iranians] that it is not in their interests <…> attack us either directly or indirectly – through third forces. The likely place, as you know, is Iraq. We want them [the Iranians] to know that this does not meet their interests,” the military leader said, speaking at the Defense One Internet conference.
“And as of today, I believe we have reached [in relations with Iran] a certain level of what I call containment, which is being disputed. It may not be perfect. Nevertheless, I think they [Iranians] see that it is not in their interest to do so (that is, to make sorties against the US – TASS note). This is a military element. There are still many political and diplomatic elements, but my concern is mainly related to security and the army part,” Mackenzie stressed.
Thus, he did not confirm the information previously disseminated by the Politico newspaper that US troops in the Middle East are preparing for a possible attack from Iran. Mackenzie’s area of operational responsibility includes the Middle East, South, and Central Asia primarily.
The US military in the Middle East has stepped up its combat readiness due to fears of Iran’s possible attack. This is reported by Politico, citing an unnamed military official. The Pentagon is concerned that Tehran may take advantage of the transfer of presidential powers in the United States and the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The upcoming anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the official explained.
On December 2, The Washington Post reported that the White House was evacuating nearly half of the US Embassy staff in Baghdad and other diplomatic facilities in Iraq, awaiting Tehran’s retaliation following nuclear assassination physicist Mohsen Fahrizadeh and ahead of the anniversary of the assassination of Soleimani.
Relations between the United States and Iran have escalated after the American military assassinated the general of the elite Iranian special forces “Al-Quds” of the IRGC Qasem Soleimani on January 3, 2020, in Baghdad. In response, on the night of January 8, several American military installations in Iraq were attacked by the Iranian IRGC. After that, US President Donald Trump announced the introduction of new sanctions.
Iran prepares an ‘answer’ for the murder of the nuclear physicist, Mossad said
The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] is in a de facto “big war” to repel a barrage of 140,000 missiles held by Iran, Hezbollah, and the Yemeni Houthis. Air defense systems “David’s Sling,” “Iron Dome,” anti-missiles Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, as well as missile defense Iron Beam [“Iron Beam”], as reported on December 11 from Tel Aviv, are on the highest alert.
Israelis fear revenge from the “Ayatollah regime” for the murder, allegedly by Mossad agents, of the most famous Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fahrizadeh, a high-ranking officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Indirect information about the impending missile attack by the Persians comes from overseas. Thus, according to the Breaking Defense portal, “over the past few days, high-ranking officers of the Israeli Defense Forces have held coordination negotiations with the US Central Command to strengthen cooperation between the two armies against a possible Iranian revenge.”
It’s not even that the Iranians are furious [although this is also]. The death of Fakhrizadeh caused enormous political damage to the “Ayatollah regime,” which was unable to defend itself in any way. Fakhrizadeh’s death is the second high-profile and, in fact, the unanswered killing of Iranian leaders this year. In January, we will remind the victim was General Qasem Soleimani, a national hero who died from the explosion of an American rocket near Baghdad’s international airport.
By the way, the attack on Fakhrizada took place on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the assassination [November 29, 2010] of another Iranian Kurchatov, Majid Shahriari, who was considered a brilliant nuclear scientist in the West. If not for his premature death, Iran would have already been a member of the “atomic club.” But even then, Tehran did not take revenge, although threats poured in as if from a cornucopia.
In this regard, Israeli experts suggest that Tehran, whether it wants it or not, this time will have to answer toughly to Tel Aviv. In particular, Uzi Rabi, one of the leading experts of the Jewish state on Iran, said in an interview with Breaking Defense that Tehran is unlikely to dare to launch a missile attack on its own while Trump is still in power. In this case, nothing will stop the outgoing US president from “punishing” the Persians. Moreover, he will be “pleased” to leave such a terrible legacy to Biden as a large-scale war.
Uzi Rabi, who is quoted by all the Israeli media, is sure that Tehran will do everything to “save face” before the new owner comes to the White House. This step will make it possible to start Iranian-American relations from scratch. The Persians appear to be hoping for a renewed “nuclear deal” between Iran, a group of states known as the “5+1”. We are talking about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to which the United States waives sanctions and the Iranians – from the atomic bomb. It was here that Trump tore apart as soon as he headed the administration.
According to Rabi, the “response” will most likely come from Yemen. The target will be the nuclear research center [located near Dimona, also known as the Dimona reactor] with a high probability. He recalls that the Houthis have repeatedly threatened Israel with destruction. And while the distance between the two countries is excellent, the Tehran-backed group is capable of launching an attack similar to the one last September on the Aramco oil facility in Saudi Arabia.
However, everything can be limited to “little blood.” According to the Israeli state television and radio company KAN news, Mossad has sent warning messages to Israeli nuclear scientists, including former ones, of a possible attack. All of them work or have worked at the Dimona reactor, which, according to reports in the public media space, is the genuine factory for the production of Israeli nuclear weapons.
On the other hand, the existing precautions practically rule out a terrorist attack against leading Jewish scientists. Brigadier-General Nitzan Nouriel, former director of Israel’s anti-terrorism bureau, told KAN news that “Iran’s chances of such an operation are close to zero.”
Therefore, Uzi Rabi’s version looks more convincing. If now the Iranians once again flare their nostrils menacingly but do not take revenge, albeit indirectly, then the CIA and Mossad will continue the practice of targeted destruction of Iranians, who pose the greatest threat the United States and Israel. The well-known American newspaper Politico agrees, citing the famous Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei, who bluntly said that “the previous [Iranian] answers did not go far enough to contain Israel.” He offers Tehran to bomb a Jewish city like Haifa.
Someone will say, you never know what analysts and experts worldwide write, and Iran is no exception. “Talking heads,” by the way, need popularity, no less than singers and actors. But there is one crucial point: the chief editor of “Kayhan” is Hossein Shariatmadari, a former adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei. The newspaper itself is considered the mouthpiece of the spiritual leader of Iran.
Who does not know: Haifa is considered the business capital of Israel and is located in the very north of the Jewish state, that is, on the line of a direct strike with short-range missiles from Lebanon, the fiefdom of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. From a technical point of view, such a response has the most excellent chance of success.
According to the latest Lebanese poll, Hezbollah no longer enjoys strong support from that country’s population. For example, the recent start of Lebanese-Israeli border negotiations in the Mediterranean has received widespread approval from Lebanese Sunnis [70%] and Christians [67%], but also from many Shiites [51%], which seems counterintuitive. In this situation, the visionary Ayatollah Khamenei would not dare to frame Hasan Nasrallah, the Lebanese Shiite militant leader.
The harsh Lebanese reality seems to be conquering hatred of Israel. Beirut today is experiencing a severe economic crisis but has no access to international borrowing. That is why the prospect of gas production on the Mediterranean shelf seems like the only lifebuoy for residents, including Hezbollah fighters. In other words, Haifa can sleep peacefully, and the threat of Sadolla Zarya can be logically viewed as propaganda aimed at domestic consumption.
Read more: Drone Attacks on Two Saudi Arabian Factories
The Dimona reactor could become Tehran’s primary target on several occasions, including at the very top. Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani said in his Friday sermon on July 5, 2019: “If Iran decides to confront you [the United States and Israel], one missile strike on the Dimona reactor will be enough.” According to Iranian intelligence, the Jewish country will receive 200 “Chernobyls” at once, and the Zionist state will have to be forgotten forever.
On the other hand, it is not a fact that Tehran will decide on retaliation this time, or it will be unprincipled, like “mosquito bites” after the murder of Suleimani. The same Movahedi Kermani, the most implacable enemy of the United States and Israel, has been criticized more than once by the supreme leader of Iran, Khamenei, for “wild statements” that have a detrimental effect on Iran’s domestic and international politics.
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