Covert War Against Iran Catches Media’s Eyes- Iran’s Options For Response Are Dwindling
William R. Collier Jr.
The media are finally covering something that Freedomist has covered for two years, the ongoing covert war against Iran. This war has consisted of cyber attacks, assassinations, and mysterious “blasts” as well as covert support for anti-regime forces.
Before we dive in with our analysis, we need to report on the US drone that Iran may have gained possession of and which it claims it shot down. We believe the Iranians, if they have possession of an RQ-170 US drone, have been given a drone that the Taliban captured in Afghanistan. We do not believe the US is actively engaged in Iran.
The famous “Stuxnet” attack was a cyber attack we assessed originated in Israel back on 2009, which caused industrial accidents at uranium enrichment facilities. During 2009 Freedomist was involved in our own “cyber engagement” with the Iranian government in support of the freedom advocates during the 2009 uprisings which President Obama utterly failed to support.
Assassinations against key Iranian scientists and even a few generals in their Revolutionary Guards appear to be conducted by anti-regime forces with the support of Israel and possibly Western powers. These assassinations have deteriorated Iran’s brain trust and they have frightened outside experts who might otherwise have made themselves available to the Iranians.
Of note, many Russian advisers are reported to have fled the country not only for fear of assassination but also because of the growing paranoia of the Iranians who suspect everyone of being a spy. Iranian fear of spies, infiltrators, and saboteurs has slowed their progress and made practical sharing of ideas and normal communication more and more difficult.
The “mysterious blasts” being reported at key Iranian facilities, especially the uranium enrichment and processing sites, have been ongoing for 2 years, with reporting by Freedomist always pointing to outside sources or anti-regime forces with primarily Israeli assistance. These blasts have been more extensive than the media have even reported and can be counted in the dozens over the past two years.
Iran’s claim to have captured a US R-170 drone, an advanced stealth design, which was most likely captured by the Taliban and shipped to Iran, may be an effort to expose the covert war, implicate the US, and justify some form of retaliation, including acts of terrorism.
Iran’s options, however, may be limited.
While the Islamists in Egypt appear to be doing well at the ballot box, the military may have little stomach for turning Egypt into an Islamist state. The possibility of Egypt discarding the Cam David accords could also open up the possibility of an Israeli incursion into the Sinai peninsula which Israel surrendered to Egypt in return for a peace treaty, a possibility that is more real than most analysts predict.
Aside from Egypt, which may become Islamist, events in Lebanon and Syria do not favor Iran.
In Lebanon the nations seems to have gown sick of both Syria and Hezbollah and increasing demands to end the tolerance for an armed Hezbollah are being backed up with threats by Sunni, Druze, and Christian Phalange groups re-arming for battle against the Islamists. Some think that these groups are already arming with Israel once again helping the Christians and the Druze.
In Syria, it appears that US and Israeli resources are flowing to opposition forces who are arming against the regime. Some attacks have already occurred and various ethnic groups also appear to be preparing for a civil war. This has been a huge distraction for the Assad regime, Iran’s ally, and has also lessened Syrian material for Hezbollah.
The fact that a serious Hezbollah attack on Israel has not occurred may in fact reveal that such an attack is untenable. It would have to happen under the noses of an armed UN mission and it might cause Lebanese forces, both official and unofficial, to turn on Hezbollah. This does not mean that Hezbollah can’t or won’t attack, but it does mean that such an attack might be resisted from within Lebanon itself.
Iran’s options, as the Freedomist has already noted, are dwindling as the pro-Islamic forces face increasing popular resistance. Their excesses are outraging many and even in places where they might enjoy a majority support, a significant minority who feel an existential threat may be compelled to offer armed resistance. Even the native Egyptians, the Copts, may end over 1400 years of accommodation with the Arab occupiers and go over to armed resistance, even if this is an unlikely possibility.
The pendulum is swinging against Iran and unless Iran takes radical and decisive action soon, it may be too late.
The covert war against Iran’s mullahs will continue, no doubt expanding to regime assets, possibly command and control and key personalities, and actions against Iran’s allies, Hezbollah and Syria, will continue to degrade Iran’s ability to respond.
The covert war is not likely to let up, unless Iran takes overt action that escalates matters to an open shooting war, which is increasingly possible as Iran’s ability to indirectly attack its chief enemy, Israel, decreases.