Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, professor extraordinaire of Iran, said it best when asked on Al Jazeera if the USA was going to attack Iran. He stated something so obvious that you would think western journalists would have already come to this realization, that “as long as the USA is sending its military to the Persian Gulf they are not about to attack Iran. It is when the USA starts to pull it forces out is when we should start to be worried.”
Why does this make so much old-fashioned common sense? Because the US military based in the Persian Gulf is so incredibly vulnerable to Iranian short and medium range missiles. These missiles have been hidden deep in hardened silos that are pretty much invulnerable to US preemptive strikes and when wheeled out can quickly leave the Persian Gulf in a smoking ruin
Let’s face it, US warships are still basically 19th century technology, slow, vulnerable to supersonic anti-ship missiles and will quickly be headed to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in event of a war breaking out. US airbases are stationary and no matter the number of the infamously unreliable Patriot missiles defenses impossible to protect.
Iran has tens of thousands of homemade missiles, well tested, and quite close geographically to the US and Arab governments’ militaries in the Persian Gulf. As the esteemed professor put it when it comes to missiles in Iran “think Hezbollah in Lebanon times 100”.
So as long as the USA military is sending more cannon fodder to the Persian Gulf you can count on one thing, that a war is not about to break out. When the Pax Americana starts to withdraw is troops and warships is when the situation is getting serious.
Thomas C. Mountain is an historian and educator reporting from Eritrea since 2006 who first became involved in matters “Middle Eastern” in 1982. See thomascmountain on Facebook or best reach him at thomascmountain at g mail dot com.