Reuters reported earlier this morning that Iran will take action against the United States if one of our own aircraft carriers moves into the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet has made home in the tiny state of Bahrain for many years now accessible to all oceanic waterways throughout the Middle East–including the Strait of Hormuz. With U.S. naval systems that can unleash a barrage of attacks striking hundreds of miles inland, Iran fears war.
The U.S., France, Italy, and the United Kingdom believe tough sanctions will mitigate and marginalize the posed Iranian threat. Many believe Iran is feeling the heat coming from international sanctions. I disagree, especially when one takes into account Iran’s underground economy known as the Bonyads.
In the past year, Iranian military capabilities have moved leaps and bounds. They have beefed up their naval fleet, Russia provided numerous sales of weapon systems, and just this past week, we have learned of Iranian nuclear breakthroughs. Iran’s recent threat does not come due to sanctions, they come due to fear.
Within a six month timeframe, Iran witnessed numerous accounts of clandestine activities resulting in the destruction of multiple critical facilities within the Persian state. At least one of these “mysterious” explosions resulted in the death of an extremely high profile Iranian military officer. These clandestine activities are working and we know this because Iran now sits in a fear based reactionary mode hence the latest threat against the U.S. Navy.
Iran has successfully lived through approximately 30 years of on and off sanctions coming from the international community. History reveals that sanctions have done very little against Iran. To claim today’s sanctions have pushed Iran into a corner is a mistake.
When an explosive device detonates unexpectedly, it is a horror inducing event. Our veterans who have been exposed to IED’s in Iraq and Afghanistan know this too well. Yet when a facility assumed to be one of the most secured facilities in a nation state goes up in flames, that entire country feels vulnerable and scared.
Whether the recent “mysterious” explosions in Iran have resulted from our CIA, Israel’s Mossad, or any other nation state concerned about Iran’s military developments does not matter. What matters is the fact that these clandestine activities are working. We know they are working because Iran is now threatening actions against the United States knowing its threats can only be implemented in a tactical skirmish. They will not assist Iran with any strategic success.
So what is needed? Sanctions can assist in pressuring Iran to seize its aggressiveness. They won’t do a whole lot of good but they can help. The international community should continue such path.
More importantly, an alliance of the world’s most capable clandestine organizations should continue covert operations against Iran pressuring them to react. Iran is already reacting. This is why they have recently threatened the United States and our 5th Fleet.
Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security and interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children’s book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook.