First off, everyone was not surprised that Iran retaliated after American forces sent a drone to kill Iran’s top general and notorious terrorist Qassem Soleimani. What shocked everyone in the American intelligence officials and the United States military was the scale and boldness of Iran’s retaliation.
Iran pulled off a dud. The attack did minimal damage, and thankfully no one was injured or killed at the bases. There is a confusion which sets in as to how precise their recent attacks were on the Saudi Petroleum oil tanks as compared to what many would say a hiccup attack. This leaves many to wonder, what really does Iran have in their arsenal?
Four months ago, we know Iran attacked the Saudi petroleum industry with armed drones along with cruise missiles. Washington and the world were caught off guard when Iran took out five percent of the oil supply to the world. Israel would have been the only one who could have intercepted the attack, but no one was prepared for it.
We also know from the 1979 attack on the United States Embassy, Iran attacked with ballistic missiles. The attack on the Iraqi bases was the only direct attack on our allies or us since Iran took over the American Embassy. In the same manner of this attack, very little damage was reported. Undoubtedly, this is the highest tension between the two countries in forty years.
With the different weapons they have used in the three major attacks, Iran may be sending a message to America they may have more than what we know. After all, Obama paid for their weapons, which they are using against us.
What is amazing is the audacity, they would have their nerve to retaliate. This tells us Iran has come a long way since 1979. They are showing the world they are suited to carry out asymmetrical warfare against the most powerful country in the world.
To keep in line with the world’s different naval programs and ships, they have set mines in the Persian Gulf and attack with speedboats. Jack Watling, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a London security research center, said, “Their offensive capability is drastically greater than the defensive capability that is arrayed against them. Their ability to inflict significant damage makes the cost of war with Iran quite severe.”
The ballistic missiles Iran has can attack up to 600 miles but has poor accuracy. Many strikes far outside of their targets. Analysts are suggesting the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, intentionally missed the targets on Tuesday’s attack as a symbol to show their response without going to war with a superpower like America.
In other words, they are scared to death of us. Karim Sadjadpour, a scholar of Iran at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said, “Khamenei has to calibrate the response so that it is enough for Iran not to lose face but not so much that Iran loses its head.”
Iran has roughly 250,000 militant fighters, but the most dangerous is the team of cyberspace hackers they possess. Assassinations and kidnappings are also a strategy which Iran uses to strike fear in many across the world. Sir John Jenkins, a former British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, said, “I certainly would not be going out to many public places, because the risk of getting whacked or kidnapped is very high.” The success rate of Iran assassinating foreign officials are about as good as the accuracy of their ballistic missiles.
Iran also has cruise missiles, which can attack up to 1,500 miles and can go anywhere in the Persian Gulf. Afshon Ostovar, a scholar of the Iranian military at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, stated, “That is what extends Iran’s power far beyond its borders.”
With the sanctions placed on Iran through the Trump administration, Iran’s economy and military have felt the clubbing blows. Since the attack on the Iraqi bases, President Trump said additional sanctions will be placed on Iran, which will make them crumble all the more. This will also put a damper on Iran’s nuclear programs. As President Trump said in his address to the nation, “As long as I am president, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.”
America and the world should not turn a blind eye to Iran’s arsenal but should focus more on the cyber attacks. These attacks can crash any vulnerable system from days to weeks.