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How Will Iran 'Target' London?

Jules Crittenden makes interesting note of this report from MEMRI, a translation of an October 18 article by Wahid Karimi, the director of the Europe and U.S. department in Iran's Foreign Ministry. Karimi recommends Iran target London - overtly - in order to deter an American attack between election day and inauguration day: The Bush Window.

"Although a U.S. military attack on Iran's nuclear installations is not likely... the last two months of Bush's presidency, from late November 2008 to January 20, 2009, will be the worst possible days of his presidency [for Iran, and during them he can] exploit his power to carry out political adventurism and a ill-conceived operation. If so, how can we restrain him?

"It is possible that after the next president of the United States is determined in November - that is, [either John] McCain or [Barack] Obama - Bush and the president-elect will reach an agreement about an ill-conceived operation against Iran.

"In the worst-case scenario, George Bush may perhaps persuade the president-elect to carry out an ill-conceived operation against Iran, prior to January 20, 2009 - that is, before the regime is handed over and he ends his presence in the White House. The next president of the U.S. will have to deal with the consequences...

"If we agree that such a scenario - with America, England and Israel at its center - is conceivable, then it would seem that the most appropriate means of deterrence that Iran has, in addition to a retaliatory operation in the [Gulf] region, is to take action against London. Experience proves that the [part played] by politicians in Tel Aviv and in London, in the [fanning of the] flames against Iran and in the urging of America to strike Iran, is no less than [the part played] by Bush."

Jules points to some great resources regarding Iran's current missile threat, many of which ThreatsWatch readers should already be aware of from past discussions. He also points to some pretty good analysis of recent Iranian posturing. All of this is important to consider for context.

However...

Iran does not have nuclear capability yet, and its conventional military reach does not extend far beyond its own borders, limited missile resources aside.

So what are the effective means for Iran to "target" London?

Terrorism. It's what they know. It's what they do.

Just in case that bit escaped observers.

NOTE: With regards to Karimi stating that "a retaliatory operation in the [Gulf] region" is necessary in conjunction with the necessity to "take action against London," it should be kept in mind that the rise in oil prices in recent years has been pinned to perceptions of potential disruption of supply more so than actual rises in consumption. (While oil consumption has risen, the rise in demand was not nearly in direct correlation with the spike in crude oil price.) Considering the precipitous drop in crude costs over recent weeks, an "operation in the region" - either in action or threat - should be expected from Iran in order to influence oil prices back upwards on renewed fears of supply volatility.

Iran's fear of low oil prices is both real and, unlike perceived threats of an American (or Israeli) attack, present. Iran's already dismal economy is being crippled by low oil prices.

Iran’s Oil Weapon is not the actual closing of the Strait of Hormuz, which would choke it's own sales and destroy its economy, but rather the threats of such and the effect on the market price of oil, which serves to enrich Iran.

With regard to any threats to or actions against London, we should keep in mind that Terror is Iran's Chief Export, regardless of its economic dependence on hydrocarbon trade.