This past weekend had some interesting Iranian highlights. Of note, prior to the Super Bowl, Matt Lauer interviewed President Obama and asked some questions about Iran. Needless to say, while the President has no issues placing our U.S. Navy SEAL’s or CIA in the media limelight, when it came to answering any questions about Iran, he refused to provide any worthy feedback to the millions of viewers watching the pre-game show. That’s point one and regarding Iran, it’s actually a positive.
Point 2–Mehr News reports that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Deputy Commander, Hossein Salami (really, the guy’s last name is actually Salami), vows to counter attack any nation that conducts military operations against Iran. Of note, it’s interesting to point out that Mr. Salami did mention the utilization of IRGC “fighting units” which would include Al Quds and Hezbollah. This is interesting considering the report published last week pertaining cells of Iranian terror squads being intercepted in Argentina and another possibility of a cell conducting an attack in Canada. Iran has strategically positioned cells globally making this threat relatively credible.
Point 3–Saudi Arabia’s Port of Jeddah is now home to the 18th Iranian flotilla of “anti-piracy” operations, according to FARS News. Needless to say, Iran’s anti-piracy mission is more a propaganda mission than anything else. One would assume with tensions in the air throughout the Middle East, Saudi Arabia should close off their ports to the Iranians. Not necessarily. Having the port remain open is smart in these trying times. It provides an opportunity for increased intelligence activities to be conducted against the Iranians. If the Saudis refused Iranian operations in their ports, the likeliness of increased Iranian tensions causing some type of strike would be extremely high. Right now, time is of the essence for U.S. and our allies to prepare and plan operations against Iran–not become reactive.
Point 4–Iran decided to conduct another military exercise in its south. This comes only weeks after a major Iranian naval exercise. Very few are discussing Iran’s relationship with the Pakistanis who share a southern border with Iran. Pakistan is the only nation in possession of nuclear weapons bordering Iran. Iran has faced several attacks conducted by the Jundullah who stage themselves in Pakistan. In the end, Pakistan and Iran are not on the friendliest of terms even though it is believed that Pakistan’s ISI has worked alongside IRGC intelligence in recent years strengthening Al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban.
These four points of interest come during a time when the International Atomic Energy Agency has stepped foot back into Iran just last week. Putting it lightly, the team of inspectors was not cheerfully greeted. Groups of Iranian youth protested the IAEA displaying pictures of recently killed Iranian nuclear scientists and signs saying “Nuclear Energy Is Our Right.” Of note, the Iranian regime often forces anti-Western protestors into the streets for propaganda purposes. Hossein Naqavi, a member of the Majles National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said last week that “Iran allowed the inspectors to enter after they had guaranteed that they would not give any information on its nuclear scientists.”
Some would believe the aforementioned is a lot for one weekend. When it comes to Iran, it’s actually nothing too significant. Iran seems to be up for playing games against the international community on a daily basis. What is unique about all this is the fact that Iran continues a strong propaganda arms attempting to mitigate external pressures. It does not appear that they are successful in their propaganda operations. Iran has become a clear glass with easy viewing the contents hidden inside.
Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT and owner of IranWarMonitor.com. 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.