Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Eurasia Theatre: Tehran/Moscow – Washington – Tokyo; Iran Five Weeks Wargames Continue in Persian – Oman Gulf – New Missiles Tested – Threat to International Shipping
Night Watch: BANDAR ABBAS – The naval – marine stage of the five week Blow of Zolfaqar wargames conducted by Tehran are continuing in the Persian and Oman Gulf with the testing of new torpedos and missiles. Admiral Habib Sayyari stated that the new missiles being tested are coast-to-sea, surface-to-surface and air-to-surface. He added that they have all been either manufactured or improved domestically by experts in Iran’s Defense Ministry. [IRNA]
The Israeli intelligence online service Debka reports that one of the missiles tested was long range, submarine launched and a threat to international shipping. It could be used as Tehran’s response to pressure concerning Iran’s nuclear weapons program. I suspect it could be used when sanctions, however ineffective, are imposed. Even if Beijing blocks sanctions by the United Nations Security Council blocs of nations, like the West-Russia-Japan, may attempt some form of economic and technological measures against Iran. Tehran is preparing to respond militarily, knowing that any threat to shipping will increase the price of oil dramatically and therefore place more economic pressures on the industrialized world than they can impose on Iran. [DEBKA]
The deadline with the UNSC is Thursday. The five week Blow of Zolfaqar wargames are due to end the third week of September. Tehran should be ready to respond by then, perhaps even before then. Any incident-event Tehran can cause will have a direct impact on Security Council negotiations and the industrialized world’s economy. Iran probably intends to create crises that will force Brussels-NATO to enter the expanding crisis, taking over from the UN, as it did during first half of the 1990’s with the increased fighting in the former Yugoslavia. Tehran may also want to see if the West-Russia can respond sooner than it did to attacks against international shipping in the Persian Gulf during the Iran/Iraq War 1980-88. It took nearly seven years before the international community finally arranged naval escorts for oil tankers.
The reason why I don’t take seriously the quick response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq-Saddam Hussein, in 1990, is because that war was staged as a favor to Iran. Tehran wanted damage done to Iraq’s military first before it allowed the engineering services headquarted in San Francisco, through its London branch office, into Iran to construct the network of military bases and underground facilities for its nuclear and missile program. The London branch office was used in order to avoid the U. S. business embargo on Iran. That is why sanctions will be completely ineffective.