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Iran And Possible Developments

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  • Iran And Possible Developments

    Since the revolution in 1979, Iran has become a country where the most interesting developments took place. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s recent remarks targeting particularly Israel are striking as well as his statements that “We should prepare our economic and political policies for the return of Imam al-Mahdi” and “We should avoid imitating the West.” The military power of today’s Iran led by Ahmedinejad-who is said to have been a member of the Revolutionary Guards (the pasdarans) and the religious militia organization Besics in the past and said to have worked for the Iranian Special Forces and who relies on the Revolutionary Guards, the Besics and the Iranian Army, which has turned out to be very different and secure in terms of the regime when compared to the days of Ayatollah Khomenei-, is not such a thing that can be swallowed easily. In Iran where efforts are under way to keep the Persians in unity against the other minorities that constitute the majority in order to create a national feeling, the Persian population throws support behind Ahmedinejad due to that power.

    The possibility of a military operation by the United States and Israel against Iran’s nuclear program shows that the Iranians will support their president more strongly. The fact that the U.S. siege around Iran has increased since the Khomenei Revolution is an element that makes the Persians increasingly uneasy.


    The United States that has practically occupied Afghanistan and that has four bases including the ones in Pasni and Yakobabad in Pakistan is in a position of directly besieging Iran.

    Increasing the number of its bases and troops in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries especially after the first Gulf War, the United States is in a position that it besieged Iran from the west as well with the presence of approximately 130,000 troops in Iraq. In addition, the Incirlik air base located in the further west is one of the few very important bases outside the U.S. territory.

    The fact that the former Soviet military base Nassosni in Azerbaijan, which is in the north of Iran, has been modernized and enhanced with the U.S. support and that the Azerbaijani troops held joint military exercises there in 2003 with the U.S. forces against terrorism reveals Iran’s potential problems in the north as well.

    Iran’s use of the Petro-dollar it has in large numbers for armament and to obtain a deterrent power is an expected situation as it feels alone under such a siege.

    Desiring to extend its regional power to an inter-continental dimension by obtaining immunity in the Middle East and to have a say everywhere that it can reach, especially in the United States, Iran, actually, assumed an assertive stance during the Shah era and had one of the most modern armies – in addition to that of the United States -- at the time. The fact that Iran purchased the time’s most developed planes, F-14, F-4 war planes, nine Boeing transportation and 14 Boeing 707 and KC-707 tanker planes, and got six Wellington type BH-7 Hovercrafts into its navy during the Shah era reveals Iran’s military objectives. Also, the fact that the Shah had plans to set up 26 nuclear plants and aimed at becoming a nuclear power as a result of this shows that Iran has linked becoming a regional power to the military power factor with a broader vision in every historical era. In that regard, in addition to TOR-M1 type air defense missiles, several other sophisticated weapon systems, that have recently been ordered to purchase from the Russian Federation by Iran and that are said to cost approximately $1.5 billion is a proof that Iran wants to enhance its military power to a great extent, despite the sanctions imposed by the Western world.

    The current point that Iran has reached in the field of the ballistic missile technology with the technical assistance from China, Russia and North Korea is also striking. At the time when it is important that 1,500 kilometer-range Shahab-3 can reach everywhere in the Middle East including Israel and there are rumors that Shahab-4 weapons developed with Russia’s continuing technical assistance despite the U.S. objections can reach a 2,000 kilometer-range. There have also been claims that the project of developing a 10,000 kilometer-range ballistic missile system that can be Shahab-6, which is the enhanced type of Shahab-5, has stopped due to unknown reasons. According to the rumors, Iran having such a 10,000-kilometer range missile might well cause the eastern coasts of the United States to be included within the distance that can be reached by Iran.

    The steps taken by Iran especially in the air defense sphere and the fact that Iran has purchased enhanced long-range S-300s from Russia are important. Again, the rumors that Chinese type HN-5A and HQ-2 are produced for the air defense, the development of Misaq-1 Saeqeh, Sayyad-1 and Tahageb type surface-to-air short-range air defense missiles, along with Crotale and Rapier type missiles through reverse engineering methods and the production of Kosar (FL-8), Fecr-i Derya (C-701) and Nasser (FL-9) type missiles show that Iran has reached a serious position with its own opportunities against any air attacks. At this point, we can say that if Iran’s available weapon systems are taken into account, this country, unlike Iraq during the Gulf Wars, will not fail but will use its effective defense power in the face of possible air strikes launched by the United States or Israel.

    In this respect, the following missiles that Iran plans purchasing from Russia, namely,

    • “Mosquito” ballistic missiles that can be used in land or in the air against ships,
    • “Yahont-E” type missiles against ships,
    • “Club” type Cruise missiles,
    • TOR-M1 type air defense missiles,
    • Long-range ballistic missiles to be used against radars and,
    • Ballistic air-to-air missiles developed for Mig-29 and SU-24 are important. All of these make one think that Iran aims at taking the initiative against especially the U.S. forces in the Gulf and closing the Hürmüz Strait with its “Mosquito” and “Yahont-E” in the face of a possible U.S.-Israeli operation against Iran.


    Desiring to rapidly obtain nuclear energy during the Shah era and focusing on having atomic bomb in a short period of time, Iran took a 10-percent share in 1995 in the Eurodif uranium enrichment facility belonging to a consortium comprising French, Belgian, Spanish and Italian companies. In addition, the construction of nuclear plants and secretly-run nuclear weapon programs of that country continued until January 1979. Later the efforts to have nuclear programs that stopped in 1984 were decided to revive by Khamenei.

    Presently Iran has,

    • A 5 MW power nuclear research reactor belonging to Tehran University,
    • A 30 kw power Chinese origin research reactor in Isfahan,
    • (1000 MWe-1300 MWe power) Bushehr-1 and Bushehr-2 nuclear plants, (these plants got damage during the Iran-Iraq war. The construction of Bushehr-1 has restarted with technical assistance from Russia).
    • Heavy water production facility in Arak,
    • Uranium enrichment facility in Natanz,
    • Civil nuclear research reactors in Bonab and Ramsar and,
    • Uranium reserves in Yazd.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency detected Bonab and Ramsar facilities in 1997 but cited no secret military program. There are claims that research on uranium enrichment efforts with centrifuge and plutonium are carried out at Sheriff Technology University in Tehran. Also, it is claimed that nuclear weapon development efforts are under way at the Isfahan Nuclear Research Center.

    There are several estimations about the timing when Iran will have nuclear weaponry. A general view on the issue is that the Isfahan Uranium Enrichment Center and the heavy water facility in Arak will start production in late 2005. Natanz is claimed to start enriched uranium production in 2006 and the plutonium production in Arak is said to start in the 2010s.

    Iran’s current problem is whether the available knowledge of this country is sufficient to develop nuclear bombs. However, Iran, which is proved to be successful in educating and training thousands of students and scientists abroad, is likely to have sufficient knowledge. If one considers that Pakistan has nuclear power thanks to the individual efforts of solely one person, Dr. Abdülkadir Khan, it seems that nobody has the chance to dissuade determined Iran from being a nuclear power today. With the delaying tactics and its nuclear research facilities, which are said to spread more than 40 different locations, Iran will declare one day that it is a nuclear power just like North Korea.


    The phenomenon that Iran, which is said to have almost 50,000 enrichment centrifuges, will be able to annually produce 400-500 kilogram enriched uranium capable of nuclear bomb production and annually have almost 10-20 bomb production capacity keeps both the United States and Israel awake.

    Although there are options that the United States and Israel can independently or together launch attacks against Iran, every option has its own political and military disadvantages.

    Possible operations launched by the two countries, jointly or independently, are open to political reactions. An operation particularly led by Israel alone can enable the Islamic countries to assume a joint stance against Israel in the Middle East. The intense financial assistance to be provided by Iran to terrorist organizations in the Middle East for anti-Israel military operations and the insistence of these organizations on an asymmetric war might be under consideration. Likewise, even in smaller amount, the asymmetric war continuing in Iraq and led only by the Sunnis for the time being can make it possible that this war can also be made by all of the Shiite militias in Iraq as well as military forces particularly the Bedr Brigades and al-Mahdi Army. Actually, it is necessary to take into account Iran’s 50,000 informants and its nearly 10,000 mercenaries, which are said to be in Iraq, in the face of a possible U.S.-led operation.

    Furthermore, as is said in the beginning of the paper, both countries should take into consideration Iran’s air defense power during a possible air strike against this country.

    A possible U.S.-led air strike will especially target Bushehr, Natanz and Arak facilities. It is likely that invisible type of B-2s that will take off from Diego Garcia, Britain, Qatar and the United States and the other heavy bombardment planes will target those facilities together with invisible F-117 type of air superiority fighters. Under these circumstances, if Iran’s nuclear development programs might come to a halt or delayed with a strike against the three facilities, or if the other assistant and secret facilities, which are said to be nearly 40, are struck in addition to the three facilities, the duration and the dimension of the operation will broaden and at that time it will be necessary to stop the air defense power of the Iranian Armed Forces. At this point, the United States will have advantages of having bases in Iraq and Gulf countries. The F-15 E and F-16s warplanes based on U.S. aircraft carriers in the gulf area can easily be used as well, if the operation broadens. Also, the Tomahawk Cruise missiles belonging to the U.S. Naval Forces can be used during such an operation.

    During an Israel-led air strike, the warplanes and this country’s past experiences will be important. Especially some 25 2,200 kilometer-range F-15s that belong to the 69th fleet and 2,100 kilometer-range F16s with additional fuel tanks seem to be sufficient to strike particularly Bushehr and Isfahan, which are 1,500 kilometers far from this country. Israel’s 500 BLU-109 type bombs, which are said to be purchased from the United States in September 2004 and which can destroy underground facilities, discloses Israel’s plans to launch attacks against Iran. It’s usually said that Israel targets Iran’s six important facilities, which will cause Iran to at least delay its nuclear program efforts for a long while.
    In addition to its air power, Israel is claimed to use its most capable Special Forces Union, 262nd Brigade, against secret underground facilities in Iran. ( /0,,2089-1920074,00.html)
    Still, it is highly likely that Israel’s new highly developed Dolphin-type submarines’ (with a total of ten torpedo tubes -- six 533-millimeter and four 650-millimeter--) could be used to launch a long-range nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) by out of standard 650-millimeter torpedo tubes. According to some reports the submarines may also be capable of carrying nuclear-armed Popeye Turbo cruise missiles, with a goal of deterring an enemy from trying to take out its nuclear weapons with a surprise attack. (

    In a possible attack despite all of those possibilities, there are unsolved elements that can create problems for the United States and Israel:

    • If Iran has underground nuclear facilities, the issue on to what extent the intelligence reports of the United States and Israel are correct is important. Especially, it is an important sign that there are rumors that the United States could not in the past spot any secret facilities belonging to Soviet Russia, which successfully hid them. This point is valid in terms of North Korea and Pakistan’s efforts to successfully hide their facilities. In addition to their success in hiding the facilities, these countries are said to set up some facilities in the earth that they use as a trap. It is likely that Iran might be applying the same tactic.
    • The possibility that Iran has set up spare facilities and it has established underground facilities, which are similar to the ones in the earth, is under consideration.
    • All of those elements show there is a failure or risk factor in an operation to be launched upon missing intelligence reports.
    • If Iran can use its HAWK, SA-2, SA-5, Rapier, RBS-70, Tigercat, SA-16, SA-7, SA-6 and SA-300 anti-aircraft missile systems along with its 1,700 anti-aircraft guns in a more effective and conscious way than the Iraqi Army, it is seen that the job of the United States and Israel will not be very easy.
    • In the face of a possible operation, it is clear that with its almost 300 Scub-B and 100 Scud-C missiles Iran will target the U.S. forces and facilities in Iraq as well as U.S. marine forces in the Gulf by using its “Mosquito” and “Yahont-E” missiles, which Iran will purchase from Russia.
    • Furthermore, Iran’s blocking the ship traffic at the Hürmüz strait and thus blocking 25 percent of world oil need with its 2,000 sea mines is a possibility.
    • Iran’s launching attacks against Israel with its “15th Ghaem Missile Brigade,” which is said to be reorganized and has Shahab-3 and Shahab-4, and with the medium-range missiles belonging to the “5th Ra’ad Missile Brigade” equipped with Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 is also a possibility.
    With the “7th EL-Hadid Missile Brigade” equipped with Scud-C and Ds, the “19th Zülfikar Rocket Brigade” that has EL-Naze and Zelzal unguided rockets and the “Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Forces” the number of which has recently risen to 5 Rocket Brigades from 3 will be able to target especially the U.S. forces in the Gulf in an effective manner.
    The timing of a U.S. and Israeli-led operation is important before the provision of TOR-M1 air defense missiles, which were ordered by Iran from the Russian Federation, which are nearly $750 million worth and might cause a tension through the U.S. pressure on Russia for dissuading it from providing Iran with these missiles. Otherwise, Iran can respond to an operation more effectively with the contribution of those weapons. This element will probably not be disregarded by the United States.

    All of those elements demonstrate that Iran desiring to become a nuclear power at any cost is on a very tough and thorny road and in the face of a possible operation the job of the United States and Israel will not be easy at all. There is no doubt that the emergence of such an operation will lead to consequences that will impact the entire Middle East and particularly Turkey from many respects.

  • #2
    How possible is a Iran-operation.
    Will air-strikes only delay the problem?

    It is like a hornet-nest: stepping on the nest and then all hornets come out and stick in different regions of the Mid-East.

    I think Air-strikes are no option. It will delay the problem of Iran accuiring nuclear-bombs. And Mullahs will after such a strike more ambitious to get these weapons. With air-strikes you do not bomb the "brains who want nuclear bombs" away.

    The only option to deal with Iran is marching into Teheran and overthrow this Mullah government.

    How possible is such a scenario? is USA possible to march into Iran by itself? Good question...
    One wrong action and the whole region will explode.


    • #3
      Actually Iran's leadership draws its base from Azaries and Persians, this is relfected int he fact that government and intelligence is a mix of Persian and Azari. I heard from Kurdish refugees who wen tto Iran that they they were questioned by irani intelligence and the agents spoke Turki.