Nov 5, 2007

Iran and the United States

The Iranian problem is far worse than their trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Not that a “Persian Bomb” is a good thing, but legitimate sources say that they are 3-5-6 years away – assuming the Israeli’s don’t launch a pre-emptive strike like they did against the Iraqi reactor at Osirak.. The real danger is the continued Iranian de-stabilization of Iraq, and their de-facto control of the southern oilfields, the pipelines, and Iraq’s only seaport- Basra.

This would give them control of 80 % of Iraq’s oil exports, which would certainly roil the economies of the free world.

An Iraq with an Iranian-friendly, Shia south would give Tehran the geopolitical and economic leverage which would make them a regional and international power-broker, giving them the respect they crave.

To do this, they need to continue to weaken the Maleki Government, which is complicit in this goal. On 20 Sept, US Army forces captured an Iranian Quds Force leader, who was posing as a businessman. Entering under a false name, Col Donald Bacon (Strategic Communications – MNFI ) today told ON POINT that “the Quds commander has 10 years experience in Iranian Intelligence – on their Iraq Desk”. He later added “we are finding more and more Iranian heavy ammunition, in addition to the lethal EFP’s. Their 120 and 240mm mortar rounds are also used for IED’s, and are just deadly.”

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Maleki’s reaction to the arrest was one of outrage, and when in New York ten days ago said that the Iranian was “a legitimate businessman who had been invited, and should be immediately released.”

Too often in the last few months American troops are rolling up Iranians posing as businessmen, and the Maleki government tries to get them released.

The American general staff is aware of these issues, and tries to work around them. When asked yesterday at the National Press Club about the threat of Iran -- money, training, EFP technology, General Ray Odierno answered:

“I would say I'm focused inside of Iraq. I think anything outside of Iraq is a very sophisticated question that goes on several different levels, and I think I'll leave that to the policymakers.

But inside of Iraq, there's several things we're doing. First, it's about, again, having the people of Iraq reject Iranian -- what I call malignant Iranian influence. And the reason I say that is because there's going to be influence of Iran. They're the neighbors of Iraq. There's always going to be influence. There's going to be commerce. There's going to be other things. So it's not eliminating Iranian influence completely, but it's the malignant Iranian influence and having them reject that and start to assist us to get inside of these networks.

Also, to put a little bit more pressure in improving the borders -- the border, the ports of entry, along the Iranian border -- and improve the capabilities of Iraqis -- and we've increased our oversight in these areas.

But the bottom line is, the extremist militias that I still see that are supported by Iran, I still see conducting EFP attacks, shooting 240-millimeter mortars at coalition forces, trying to move Sunnis out of certain neighborhoods in Baghdad and outside of Baghdad."

Gen Odierno is correct in his assessment; Iranian activities and actions are posing some very sophisticated challenges. But perhaps there is a middle way; instead of bombing the scattered and highly reinforced underground nuclear sites, the plan to hit Iran should not be about nuclear proliferation.

What America needs to do is to reduce Iran’s support of the extremist Shia militias who are killing Americans every day with sophisticated improvised explosive devices, as well as focus Iran’s attention to the fact that America will strike them, and can up the ante to strike again as necessary.

Iran is responsible for many of our casualties. IEDs cause the majority of killed and wounded, and our armored vehicles remain vulnerable to the EFP’s (explosively-formed penetrators) that are manufactured in Iran. Their 240mm mortar rounds cause horrendous casualties amongst our military and Iraqi civilians. As Col Jack Jacobs (USA, ret) said last evening “if there is to be any strike against targets in Iran, it will be against the facilities that manufacture these.”

Ahmadinejad has far less power than the West understands, it is understood that he is widely disliked beyond his band of religious zealots; a focused, directed attack on the EFP factories, the munitions factories, and Quds headquarters would send a “hands-off” message to the ruling Mullahs, as well as message to the Iranian people at large that our quarrel is not with them, but with certain levels of their government.

Will such a limited strike like this help reduce Iranian influence in Iraq? It should – but if nothing is done, the probability is that our limited troop strength cannot keep the Iranians from gaining influence and power - at the expense of a stable Iraq. And when that happens? Get ready to buy your gas at $ 6.00 / gal.

Note : Here is the link the the Iranian arms manufacturer and exporter who ships arms and munitions into Iraq:

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