War on Iran, a matter of time? by Sameh A. Habeeb

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altWar on Iran, a matter of time? 

 

The invasion of Iraq was prepared early in the 1970es by Neocon or New conservatives or Hawks in the US.  It was a matter of creating pretexts here or there to carry out this plan. Upon attacking Iraq and occupying it we started to hear about plans to attack Syria and Iran. Later, we heard of new Middle East plans marketed by ex American Foreign secretary Condoleezza Rice. The plans failed as the war on Lebanon in 2006 failed to break the alliances in the region.


The attempts to create new Middle East remain but with slights changes on the planes. This comes from the fact that Arab spring is creating new facts on the grounds. Followers of the Media these days can easily expect a war on Iran. Many Israeli spokespersons and leaders declare that war on Iran is imminent. Americans also started to replicate these statements. One could expect a war on Iran very soon based on a number of reasons based on regional changes.


Attacking Iran will only take place after making sure that its alliance is broken or weakened.


Breaking the Iranian Alliance 


The alliance of Iran in the region has been always the strongest. Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria as well as many groups in the Middle East.  It is apparent that Arab spring has shaken this alliance and even broke some parts of it. Hamas is no longer on the pocket of the Iranians. As Hamas refuse to support the repression of the Syrian regime against its own people, its relations with Iran deteriorated. Qatar and Turkey have announced that they will stream around $ 300milions for Hamas government. Such support will indeed alleviate the pressure that Iran exerts on Hamas.


Hamas is unlikely on engage on a war with Israel if Iran is attacked. The conditions in the Palestinian internal front don’t allow. Also, Hamas is not concerned anymore on the Iranian alliance as the regimes in the region are no more enemies of Hamas like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. The new regimes especially in Egypt represent new alliance for the movement which will be a cover for any future confrontation with Israel.


Hezbollah in Lebanon is not on its best time. The faction suffers from internal political problems and may not engage in a war against Israel if Iran is attacked. The faction could allow limited attacks against Israel by unknown members in case a war happened.  Hezbollah no doubt has lost its popularity in the Arab world, especially among the Sunis. This is due to its silence over Gaza war when Israeli attacked the strip. Also, due to the accusations that it has killed former Lebanese PM, Rafiq Hariri. And last, its support and direct field engagement with the Syrian army to repress protesters. Such factors will weaken Hezbollah’s plans to attack Israel. In 2006, Lebanese factions slammed Hezbollah the responsibly of War and the full-scale destruction that stormed Lebanon.  Israel always sends messages to the Lebanese groups about this warning them of a full-scale war against Lebanon not only Hezbollah.


Syrian regime is greatly weakened after over 10 months of protesting and bloody repression. The Syrian army is no longer controlling the entire Syrian soil. According to the Chef of Syrian army, the regime forces lost control of around 50% in Syria. The attacks of Free Syrian army increased and are hurting the army. Two days ago, the regime has used the Republican Guard for the first time to attack some cities. This indicate the size of the problems that regime has. The Republican Guard is meant to defend the president only and not to engage in Guerilla wars against defectors.  Al asad’s regime was pushed to use this Republican Guard as number of defectors dramatically increasing.

 

The anti-Iranian Alliance

On the other side, a very strong alliance is being formed where interests of states meet each others. Apparently, Gulf States like Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and others agree with Israel on the need to stop Iran.  They perceive Iran is a threat not only by possessing nuclear weapons but also by exporting Shiites beliefs to the region. One of the principles of Islamic Revolution of 1979 is to spread the Shia dogma across the Suni world and Arab states. Such plans mean bringing down the regimes in the Gulf through Shia demographic balance. For example, the protests in Bahrain are entirely Shia who is loyal to Iran.  In the last few decades, Shia represented very limited number of Bahrain populations, but now they are nearing to the half. There are also some groups in Saudia Arabia who are loyal to Iran. They have carried out some protests lately. But the Saudi, forces suppressed them. 


Israel perceive Iran is enemy since long time ago when the Islamic Revolution of 1979 took place as the former denied the existence of Israel and vowed to fight it till it disappear.  The support of Iran for Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other military groups that function against Israel are key reasons. Israel is more concerned about the threat of Palestinian groups than the threat of nuclear weapons of Iran. Even if Iran has these Nuclear Weapons, it will be very hard to use them against Israel where Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians circulate Israel. The nuclear weapons of Iran are just one more reason to attack it. 


The Americans want to make sure that the streaming of Arab oil from the Gulf to the world is not hindered. They also, want to break the Russian alliance in the Middle East with Iran and Syria. More importantly, Iran was the only winner from Iraq war as the new Iraqi regime “Shiite” is totally loyal to Iran. Many western countries adopt the American stance regarding the oil. They will all be affected if the oil is not streaming to them. They need to avoid an oil cut like what happened by the Saudis in 1973 when they cut the oil.


It seems as if conditions are fit to launch an attack on Iran. What remains un-disclosed is the nature of this attack. Will it be an army to an army? Will it be an invasion? Such scenarios seem hard. The easiest will be launching extensive air attack by the US and Israel. They both have great superiority and possess the most advanced jets that could target several locations in Iran.

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