All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Monday, 14 August 2006

The Thinking In Tehran

This is a fascinating exposé of the thinking going on in Iran right now.
I found the article on Debka.com, an intelligence site.

Tehran Takes Gloomy View of the Lebanon War and Truce
August 14, 2006, 3:35 PM (GMT+02:00)

While the damage caused Israel’s military reputation tops Western assessments of the Lebanon war, DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report an entirely different perception taking hold in ruling circles in Tehran.

After UN Security Council resolution 1701 calling for a truce was carried Friday, Aug. 11, the heads of the regime received two separate evaluations of the situation in Lebanon – one from Iran’s foreign ministry and one from its supreme national security council. Both were bleak: their compilers were concerned that Iran had been manipulatively robbed of its primary deterrent asset ahead of a probable nuclear confrontation with the United States and Israel.

While the foreign ministry report highlighted the negative aspects of the UN resolution, the council’s document complained that Hizballah squandered thousands of rockets – either by firing them into Israel or having them destroyed by the Israeli air force.

The writer of this report is furious over the waste of Iran’s most important military investment in Lebanon merely for the sake of a conflict with Israeli over two kidnapped soldiers.

It took Iran two decades to build up Hizballah’s rocket inventory.

DEBKAfile’s sources estimate that Hizballah’s adventure wiped out most of the vast sum of $4-6 bn the Iranian treasury sunk into building its military strength. The organization was meant to be strong and effective enough to provide Iran with a formidable deterrent to Israel embarking on a military operation to destroy the Islamic regime’s nuclear infrastructure.

To this end, Tehran bought the Israeli military doctrine of preferring to fight its wars on enemy soil. In the mid-1980s, Iran decided to act on this doctrine by coupling its nuclear development program with Israel’s encirclement and the weakening its deterrence strength. The Jewish state was identified at the time as the only country likely to take vigorous action to spike Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

The ayatollahs accordingly promoted Hizballah’s rise as a socio-political force in Lebanon, at the same time building up its military might and capabilities for inflicting damage of strategic dimensions to Israel’s infrastructure.

That effort was accelerated after Israeli forces withdrew from the Lebanese security zone in May 2000. A bunker network and chain of fortified positions were constructed, containing war rooms equipped with the finest western hi-tech gadgetry, including night vision gear, computers and electronics, as well as protective devices against bacteriological and chemical warfare.
This fortified network was designed for assault and defense alike.


Short- medium- and long-range rockets gave the hard edge to Hizballah’s ablity to conduct a destructive war against Israel and its civilians – when the time was right for Tehran. Therefore, Iran’s rulers are hopping mad and deeply anxious over news of the huge damage sustained by Hizballah’s rocket inventory, which was proudly touted before the war as numbering 13,000 pieces.

Hizballah fighters, they are informed, managed to fire only a small number of Khaibar-1 rockets, most of which hit Haifa and Afula, while nearly 100 were destroyed or disabled by Israeli air strikes.

The long-range Zelzal-1 and Zelzal-2, designed for hitting Tel Aviv and the nuclear reactor at Dimona have been degraded even more. Iran sent over to Lebanon 50 of those missiles. The keys to the Zelzal stores stayed in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers who were in command of Hizballah. Nasrallah and his officers had no access to these stores. But Tehran has learned that Israel was able to destroy most of the 22 Zelzal launchers provided.

That is not the end of the catalogue of misfortunes for the Islamic rulers of Iran.

The UN Security Council embodied in resolution 1701 a chapter requiring Hizballah to disarm – in the face of a stern warning issued by supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in person in the early days of the war. Revolutionary Guards commanders went so far as to boast: “No one alive is capable of disarming Hizballah.”

The disarming of Hizballah would therefore be a bad knock to the supreme ruler’s authority and prestige as well as a disastrous blow for the deterrent force so painstakingly and expensively fashioned as a second front line to protect the Islamic republic from a safe distance.

No comments: