Saber rattling from Iran

After Iran-backed militants killed three American soldiers and wounded dozens of others with a drone strike, Joe Biden promised that we would “strike back.” We still haven’t seen that response, but we’ve been told that it’s on the way. Meanwhile, the Iranians do not appear to be backing down at all. In fact, they’re promising to do some “striking back” of their own if Biden responds as promised. The threat first came from Amir Saeid Iravan, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations. He wasn’t any more specific than Biden has been, saying only that his country would “respond decisively” and that it would be a “strong response.” We’re either being treated to an example of dueling rhetoric or a potentially significant escalation of the hostilities in the region. 

From  AP:

Iran threatened Wednesday to “decisively respond” to any U.S. attack on the Islamic Republic following President Joe Biden’s linking of Tehran to the killing of three U.S. soldiers at a military base in Jordan.

The U.S. has signaled it is preparing for retaliatory strikes in the Mideast in the wake of the Sunday drone attack that also injured at least 40 troops at Tower 22, a secretive base in northeastern Jordan that’s been crucial to the American presence in neighboring Syria.

However, concerns remain that any additional American strikes could further inflame a region already roiled by Israel’s ongoing war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on shipping in the Red Sea.

At a separate event, Hossein Salami, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, was rattling some sabers as well. He said that Iran is not seeking war with the United States, but they also “do not fear war.” Salami should probably be one of our first targets if we’re going to seriously go after Iran. The IRGC is obviously directly involved in most of the terror attacks taking place and taking him out would send a strong message.

Iran doesn’t have enough of a military to go into a full-scale war against the United States, but they do have enough firepower to be dangerous. Their navy is composed of roughly a dozen combat-ready surface ships and three full-sized submarines, along with approximately 20,000 sailors. They have many additional surface ships, but they are primarily various classes of speed boats, along with some mini-subs. They do have surface-to-air missile capability, something we learned when they shot down Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 in 2020. They have a sizable army of roughly three-quarters of a million active and reserve troops. So they can’t be taken lightly, but they couldn’t possibly defeat the full force of the American military on their own.

So what else can they do as a “response?” They would probably just continue shooting more things down and launching attacks against our military outposts and/or against Israel. But they’re doing that already, so it’s not that much of an increased threat. If there is any way to get Iran to back down, it will likely require a serious show of force that the Mullahs will be unable to ignore. That’s why I suggested taking out Salami and a couple hundred of his IRGC footsoldiers. He shouldn’t be that hard to find. If that doesn’t work we could drop some bunker busters on their nuclear facilities or take out a few of their naval vessels.

The Iranians won’t respect anything but a show of force. When they detect weakness, they attack. Knocking them down a few pegs is probably the only way to bring some additional calm to the situation while Israel finishes its work in Gaza. I’m seriously trying to give Joe Biden the benefit of the doubt here and trusting that he’ll handle this situation, but he still doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Let’s give him a few days and find out what sort of response is (hopefully) being developed.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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