Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio
By End the Lie
As I outlined in my article entitled “Positioning for war with Iran?”, it has become clear that the West is either arming surrounding neighbors as a deterrent, preparation for an unprovoked strike, or perhaps even to goad Iran into attacking Western interest first, thus justifying brutal retaliation.
My fledgling series about the global growth of NATO and the Western empire also covers aspects of this greater trend and how these issues constantly evolve and how so many seemingly disconnected events are in fact inseparably linked.
While these issues may seem disconnected for some, I think it is quite important to point out that in fact they couldn’t be more closely related in that they are both symptoms of the cancerous war profiteering industry that is not only robbing the American people blind in the name of freedom but also eliminating our civil liberties and slaughtering innocent people around the globe.
The situation surrounding Iran is just a microcosmic example of this greater trend to isolate and eliminate anyone who bucks the status quo and attempts to throw a wrench into the works of the global geopolitical-financial machine.
Recently, Iran closed their 10-day-long naval exercise in the Persian Gulf by testing multiple missiles, a move which clearly enraged the Western powers which believe that only they are allowed to wield any military power.
Three missiles were tested, including the shore-to-sea Qader missile, shorter range Nasr and surface-to-air Nour missile.
These tests come on the heels of a medium-range surface-to-air missile was successfully launched just days earlier.
The timing of these missile tests are very unlikely to be pure coincidence given the heated rhetoric coming from both sides, not to mention the presence of American vessels in the region.
Part of the large-scale exercises being conducted in the Gulf by the Iranian navy included “mock” exercises focusing on closing the Strait of Hormuz.
What exactly a mock exercise could be is not clear to me given that an exercise, by definition, is mocking a real event.
Despite the implications of such an exercise, Iran claimed to have no real intention to close the strait, a move which the American Fifth Fleet out of Bahrain spoke out against.
“No order was give[n] for the closure of the Strait of Hormuz. But we are prepared for various scenarios,” the chief of the Iranian navy, Habibollah Sayyari, said to Iranian state television.
The French government quickly spoke out against the testing and exercises, although France is hardly capable of claiming moral authority given their involvement in the Ivory Coast.
The French called the Iranian missile testing a “very bad signal sent to the international community,” since, once again, only Western nations who do what they’re told are allowed to defend themselves or develop weaponry of any kind.
Bernard Valero, the spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, said that the Iranian government should remind themselves of the “freedom of navigation in straits and the need to maintain a favorable climate in respect to this freedom.”
Of course Valero is taking the typical double standard approach which has become all too common because I am sure Valero would have no problem with restricting Iranian movement if they decided it was necessary “to maintain a favorable climate.”
I find it interesting that the Iranian commander Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi told Iranian state media that the newly tested Qader missile was “built by Iranian experts,” given that one of their most key ballistic missile experts was killed in a mysterious explosion back in November.
Mousavi also stated that the Qader missile is “ultra-modern … with an integrated, ultra-precise radar whose range and intelligent anti-detection system have been improved over previous generations.”
The emphasis on the anti-detection system is quite interesting given the build-up of anti-missile defense systems in the region, including the nonsensical American funding of Israeli systems.
That being said, the Qader is an anti-ship missile, leading me to speculate that it might be attempting to send a message to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet which has been operating in the region.
This is the same fleet that warned Iran against any attempt at closing the Strait of Hormuz recently.
The Nour missile is reportedly based on a Chinese design, something which would likely result in China getting a great deal of flak if it was ever used against Western interests.
Despite the growing international opposition to just about everything Iran does, the powers that be in Iran remain defiant and even boastful.
This is evidenced by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, saying that there has been “eye-catching successes” in the Iranian confrontation of Western powers in spite of sanctions.
Khamenei stated that the trend will not end and that, “The enemy is repeatedly suffering defeats and setbacks, despite its all-out security and political measures against the Islamic Republic.”
Iran has also just commissioned their first wholly owned oil drilling rig in the Persian Gulf, according to a statement from the North Drilling Company’s managing director to the Tehran Times.
Since all of the rigs which have been installed over the past 29 years have been rented, this is a considerable step forward for Iran and involved an investment of $153 million.
This development is also interesting due to the fact that the oil field where the new Sahar-e 1 will be deployed is shared with nearby Qatar, a nation which is totally aligned with Western interests as evidenced by them admitting that they were running operations on the ground during the sham Libyan revolution.
There is also the matter of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announcing that they successfully produced and tested their first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod made out of natural uranium.
Despite the fact that Iran repeatedly insists that their program is a purely peaceful one, individuals in the West have seen this latest development as a significant threat, despite all the indicators that Iran has no interest in preemptively striking Western interests or allies.
Olli Heinonen, former deputy director general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency and head of the safeguards department claimed in the British Guardian that “this show of ostensibly civilian nuclear progress could end up further stoking international tensions.”
Heinonen’s analysis appears to be the typically politicized, highly biased information coming out of all UN agencies.
Even James Acton, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told Bloomberg, “This has some diplomatic significance and virtually no military significance.”
Furthermore, Iranian news agencies have stated that the fuel rod will be used in the core of Tehran’s research reactor in order to make isotopes for cancer treatments.
Recently Iran also stated that Iran would not tolerate another instance of an American carrier entering the Persian Gulf as the John C. Stennis did recently.
“Iran will not repeat its warning … the enemy’s carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill. I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf,” Iranian army chief Ataollah Salehi said according to IRNA, the Iranian state news agency.
While Salehi did not pinpoint which vessel he was talking about nor what actions they would take if any returned, it is clear he was talking about the John C. Stennis and associated vessels which entered the region during supposedly routine operations.
The situation in the Strait of Hormuz is complicated greatly by some new developments including the United States Navy announcing the development of new long-range drones, some of which will be assigned to the Fifth Fleet – the same fleet which has been countering Iranian threats to close the strait.
Others will be deployed to the Sixth Fleet out of the Mediterranean, specifically operating out of Sigonella, Sicily and the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific, specifically operating out of Guam.
There are also four of the currently unnamed Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) systems to be deployed to a “secret location in the Middle East.”
This is pertinent because one naval expert cited by Stars and Stripes claimed that BAMS could be used to track “Iranian threats to shipping in the Persian Gulf.”
No specifics on the missions these drones will carry out have been released, although the crafts are able to fly 24-hour-long missions every three days and can reportedly track hundreds of suspicious vessels at one time.
The relevance to the unfolding Iran imbroglio was highlighted by retired Navy Captain and senior follow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington D.C., Jan Van Tol, who said, “This is obviously an important mission, especially in view of current tensions.”
The new drones will supposedly help prevent Iranian vessels packed with explosives from swarming American vessels, a threat which appears to have been pulled out of thin air just as most justifications for absurd military spending and intervention are.
The initial contract for just two drones is worth a shocking $1.6 billion and Northrup Grumman expects to manufacture 68 more, but the price is still being negotiated.
How can we continue to justify this massive expenditure when there is no real threat to our national security, nor is there any money to be spending in the first place?
Apparently our so-called leaders have no problem putting the American people on the hook for decades to come in order to keep the money flowing into their cronies’ coffers.
Raytheon also just announced that they have delivered the first upgraded Patriot missile radar to Kuwait, a nation which borders Iraq and Saudi Arabia, while also sharing the Persian Gulf and thus obviously quite close to Iran.
This dovetails with the Western moves to arm other nearby countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia which I covered in my previous article.
The upgrading of Kuwaiti systems is being done under a U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command contract and the phony justification that it is being done to protect against missiles, while once again I must point out that Iran have never shown any intention to strike first as they clearly realize it would be a death sentence for the entire country.
This delivery is just the first of six radar modernization deliveries to Kuwait to supposedly “counter evolving regional threats,” a statement which clearly is pointing to Iran.
The Patriot systems defend against both manned and unmanned aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles all of which seems unjustified given that Iran really is not a threat.
There is also an upcoming missile defense exercise between the United States and Israel, which is billed as the largest ever exercise, which according to the Jerusalem Post is “expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel.”
The timing of this drill, coming up in spring, is quite interesting indeed given the greater developments in the region, all of which seem to be tied together.
Back in September of 2011, the Jerusalem Post revealed that the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and United States European Command (EUCOM) would be conducting the Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise followed by the massive Austere Challenge exercise this year.
Austere Challenge will include establishing American command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at the EUCOM headquarters in Germany, which the Jerusalem Post says has “the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces for the vevent of a future large-scale conflict in the Middle East.”
This looks even more likely in recent months and the timing of these two operations, along with these other developments covered in this article, must be either purposeful or ludicrously coincidental.
It appears that the United States and allied forces are attempting to do whatever it takes to provoke Iran and get them to do something which will justify an all-out, overt assault with the approval of the oft-invoked and laughably vague “international community.”
Once again, I must state that above all I just hope that I am completely wrong and that nothing will happen and these tensions will slowly fade and any and all threats from both sides will become a distant memory.
Unfortunately, that does not look like it is the case, at least at this stage.