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The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Why Are You So Afraid Of Iran?

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Iran’s threat to Israel and global stability

The fact that Iran, a member state of the United Nations, can continue to insult and credibly threaten to annihilate Israel, another member state – by word, and physically by controlling their assassin proxies that surround Israel; and now directly – is beyond comprehension. The world is aware of their radical Islamist ambitions for building a pan-Islamist, tyrannical world order; of their deep religious-linked hatred for Israel and the Jewish people (“little Satan”); of their goal of undermining America (“big Satan”). We are also aware of their willingness to martyr countless of their indoctrinated followers to achieve their goal.

A scary combination: martyrdom culture + nuclear ambitions

It was widely reported that during the Iran-Iraq war, thousands of Iranian children were sent out into the battlefields as ‘kamikaze’ mine-sweepers. They received religious indoctrination, emphasizing the value of martyrdom to the Islamic faith. These children were sent walking into the minefields to clear/detonate mines for the advancing Iranian army, armed only with keys around their necks for opening the “gates of heaven.” This is Iran. They currently encourage this martyrdom within Hamas and the PIJ. Their religious Madrasas world-wide teach this hatred and these ambitions from childhood.

Can we imagine what Iran would be willing to do, once armed with nuclear weapons? And so why is the world, and specifically, America and Europe, so focused on appeasing them?  What are we afraid of?

Iran’s perceived advantage is illusion: smoke and mirrors

Iran has a population of 90 million, compared to Israel’s 9 million. Israel has active and reserve soldiers totaling 750,000. Iran has a total of about 1 million active and reserve soldiers. The Iranian force is not widely respected by military experts. In addition, Hezbollah’s force, estimated at between 25,000-40,000 fighters are, admittedly somewhat better trained.

None of those statistics matters, none of Iran’s 960,000 soldiers are (safely) able to march or drive to Israel. Few could make it to the border. As for Hezbollah, they represent a dangerous enemy but are massively outnumbered by the better trained and more advanced Israeli forces.

This essentially leaves battles with Iran to long range weapons, as we have seen on April 13, when Iran attacked Israel, of course, adding insult to injury, on the Jewish Sabbath. Except to Iran’s great surprise and disappointment, there was very little damage, only insult.

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Let’s look at the facts. Iran’s significant long-range weapons consists of 3 basic modalities: Drones, Ballistic missiles, Cruise missiles.

That’s basically it. They do not have a truly functional air force. They have only very few modern naval vessels, 4 very old (non-ballistic missile) submarines acquired from Russia from 1992 to 1996, about 20 inferior mini submarines acquired from North Korea that can carry a few special forces personnel, but not torpedoes, and some small fast patrol boats.

For their air defenses, they use the Russian surface-to-air S-300 system, developed in 1978 but acquired by Iran in 2016 for about $150 M each. They have about 32 of these launch systems. They work reasonably well but are not effective against stealth-like aircraft, like Israel’s F-35s. Russia’s upgraded S-400 system has been operational in Russia since 2017 and is potentially dangerous to stealth aircraft. Iran hopes to acquire the S-400; so far, they have not done so. Eventually, they are likely to acquire S-400 systems; another reason time is not on Israel’s side.

April 13, 2024 – not an Iranian experiment; no restraint; they threw everything they had at us.

So that leaves them with drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Let’s briefly focus on those. Most serious sources agree that Iran has stockpiled a maximum of 6,000 drones (Russia’s stockpile goal is 6,000 drones). Iran launched 170 drones to Israel on April 13 (Israel counted 185). You would expect that they would use only a small fraction of the total for that purpose. 170 drones is 3% of their arsenal – significant.

As for their domestically produced Ballistic missiles, sources estimate Iran has 3,000 stockpiled. They launched 120 (Israel counted 180) on April 13, 6% of their entire arsenal in one night.

As for the lower-flying cruise missiles, Iran launched 30 (Israel counted 36). There are no published numbers but it’s unlikely that Iran has more than 500-700 of these.

Not one cruise missile or drone penetrated Israel’s borders on April 13, 2024.

Four or five ballistic missiles  (out of 120-185) did penetrate, and caused minor damage. Whether or not absence the assistance of the United States and others in the hastily organized coalition, Israel would have succeeded on their own to down 99% of the attack – is a matter of conjecture. I would think that Israel might have succeeded alone, with perhaps only a very slightly lower success rate. Despite the vast size and population difference between Israel and Iran, let us remember that Israel also domestically produces drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles and these are considered far superior technology than Iran’s.

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Let us also remember that the annual Israeli military budget is about $25 B, more than double Iran’s $10B military budget. This would imply that Israel’s stockpiles of advanced drones and missiles are sufficient to outlast Iranian aggression. And let there be no mistake in thinking – Iran’s April 13 attack was not a test or experiment. It was not restrained, despite what Iran’s propaganda machine would have us believe. No country would commit such a large proportion of their stockpiled advanced weapons that Iran did in that one night, unless it was a full-blown attack. They threw everything they had at us.

Iran asserts that it did not use their best weapon, the Fatah II hypersonic missile that is claims to reach speeds of 15 X speed of sound (15 Mach) and thus impervious to defense. Experts insist that the Fatah II is not yet operational and that it has been having issues reaching the range requirements.

It’s safe to say that Iran’s intent was to effect massive destruction, and to take out Israel’s air superiority, possibly as a prelude to invasion. We know that their plan failed. We also know that Israel had 40 F-35 “Adir” stealth fighter planes upgraded with top secret Israeli technology – in the air. These aircraft have already many times cruised over Iranian territory unchallenged and undetected. Israel’s own defensive hypersonic missile system, Arrow 3, has proven itself in destroying Iranian missile attacks. And Israel’s offensive hypersonic ballistic missile, the “Jericho 3” is highly classified; we do know that it has a range of 6,000 Km; is 16 meters long and weighs 29,000 Kg. It carries a 1,300 Kg payload and also has optional nuclear capabilities. There is nothing in Iran’s arsenal that can even remotely compare.

The obvious strategy is to remove Iran from the oil business

For now, it looks like that even alone, Israel would overwhelm Iran’s military capabilities. With a coalition, it would be a cake walk. Relatively little needs be done. I’m not a military strategy expert, but it’s not rocket science (pun intended) to speculate that there are three highly strategic targets that do not require collapsing mountains inside of which the Iranian nuclear program is being developed. The obvious open-air target is Kharg Island oil terminal, Iran’s main export hub that moves 90% of its export oil. The island is 8 Km by 3 Km, and can be destroyed in an hour, together with its massive infrastructure, and including its 36 storage tanks that can hold 25 million barrels of oil. Another open-air target could be the second port at Bandar-e Jask on the Gulf of Oman coast, which is slated to export 1 million barrels per day. A third target is the largest of all of Iran’s oil fields, the Ahvaz oil field in Iran’s south-west, with a daily production of 945,000 barrels, followed by the 2nd largest field, at Marun, producing 520,000 barrels a day. The other fields are quite small in comparison. If there’s time for another strike, you know, like before lunch – there is always the biggest refinery, Abadan, which refines 44% of the crude.

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These are not population centers. These are not hidden inside mountains or caves. They are known targets. Google Earth will give anyone the coordinates. Why do these 3 or 4 sites still exist? Taking Iran out of the oil business renders it unimportant and irrelevant. It’s biggest customer, China will not come to its aid. First, the whole operation need not take more than a few hours, second, because China would not get involved physically, except perhaps where Taiwan is involved. They can get their oil elsewhere; we could arrange it. As for Russia, they are busy elsewhere; they don’t need more trouble.

An Iran denied of their oil wealth is an Iran with zero leverage and influence; an Iran incapable of building expensive military arsenals, ceases to be a customer of Russian arms, unable to be a producer/supplier of arms, unable to fund and train and control Hezbollah and Hamas and PIJ, and Houthis. Iran’s nuclear armament program would likely grind to halt.

The emperor wears no clothes. Iran is weaker than its arrogant, inflated words of hate. There is no good reason to fear them, and out of that misplaced fear, to appease them.

About the Author
Teich, based in Toronto, is an international strategy, market growth, and communications consultant for emerging economies and organizations. With a past role as CEO and extensive experience in over 80 countries and cultures, he's now semi-retired, continuing his consultancy, an author of two best-sellers, and an avid follower of history and current affairs.
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