Iran's Amazing New Weapons Developments
On the heels of a very public proclamation of new missile technology on Friday, Iran says it will test more weapons in its Persian Gulf exercise. Sunday, Iran laid claim to the successful test firing of what it calls the world’s fastest torpedo, claiming it travels underwater at 328 feet per second.
Taking a step back, this should all be digested in context. To be sure, discerning exactly what Iran has or has not truly developed is guesswork at this point. However, it should at least raise eyebrows that all of these seemingly miraculous developments are being realized within the scope of a one week military exercise that is designed purely as a show of force for Western consumption, all on the heels of UN Security Council proceedings on Iran’s nuclear program that has revealed very real fissures in the Western stance (insofar as Russia and China can be considered ‘Western’ in this context).
While the nature of the advances (as advertised) should be digested with at least some skepticism, it should also be noted that Iran has been working nearly as feverishly in their missile program as they have in their nuclear program. And it should also be noted that Iran did launch their first indigenously produced submarine within the past few months, augmenting a small fleet of Soviet Kilo-Class hunter-killer submarines.
But the concern with Iran should remain one of international terrorism and not one of military might. In fact, to the degree that Iran has improved their naval systems, it is much more likely that these advances will serve Iran’s ability to threaten civilian maritime vessels, primarily oil tankers and the closure of the Straits of Hormuz, and not for direct military-on-military war fighting. Iran’s military, regardless of missile and torpedo advances, would be crushed under the overwhelming military power of the United States.
In a Washington Post story, the headline misses the mark: Attacking Iran May Trigger Terrorism. The body of the story is correct, drawing attention to the certainty that Hezbollah – as Tehran’s de facto foreign policy arm – would be used in attacks of retaliation following any Western strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. But, the headline leaves much to be desired, as it implies that Iran otherwise would not ‘trigger’ such acts.
It cannot go unrecognized that not attacking Iran has ‘triggered terrorism’ since 1979. From the Marine Barracks and US Embassy in Beruit, to the US consulate in Kuwait, to the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the Karin-A shipment of arms bound for Gaza but intercepted by the Israelis in 2002, no American attack on Iran was required. Iran’s tentacles of terror reach far beyond just that of Hezbollah. Indeed, Iran is now the principle regional supporter of Hamas and, through Hezbollah, coordinate with, fund, arm and train various terror groups, including but not limited to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the PFLP-GC, and others. Iran also continues to harbor within their borders what al-Qaeda themselves have claimed is over 100 of al-Qaeda’s top operatives.
Attacking Iran will not ‘trigger’ terrorism. There will be increased attacks to be sure, but they will not come from a vacuum. To shrink from Iran because of the threat of terrorism will be akin to shrinking from the schoolyard bully because he may hit you. The bloodied lip should serve to remind that the bully already has.