Is the West at war with Iran? Not a cold war—for I think that is clearly the case—but a “hot” war? Judging from what I see in the media, I have concluded Iran and the West are engaged in a deadly struggle. The struggle might be a covert one, but one hot enough to have already claimed casualties on both sides.
It is not easy to identify all combatants, for much of the war is waged in secret. One can be sure, however, that Israel and the United States are in the forefront.
Above the surface, we have Washington, European Union and others, including Canada, stepping up efforts to impose wide-reaching sanctions on Iran and threatening to shut down its oil exports. And Tehran has countered by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz through which Persian Gulf oil is shipped to energy-hungry markets world-wide. It has also claimed it wants to wipe out the state of Israel.
Below the surface, there is Israel’s covert actions against Iran’s nuclear program that has been going on for years, including (most likely) the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, cyber-war and a campaign of sabotage within Iran. And less known has been Iran’s push-back in Iraq and Afghanistan, where its special-unit Al Quds Force has attacked U.S. troops using improvised explosive devices. I have little doubt the Americans have suffered casualties directly from actions directed from Tehran. And this from the National Post:
In November, a huge explosion ripped through a Revolutionary Guard Corps’ base outside Tehran, leveling [sic] most of the buildings and killing 17 people, including a founder of Iran’s ballistic missile program, General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam.
Two weeks later, another large explosion damaged a key uranium enrichment plant at Isfahan [in Iran].
On Dec. 11, seven people were reported killed in an explosion at a steel mill linked to [Iran’s] nuclear program in Yazd.
Moreover, American officials have alleged Al Quds’ operatives planned to hire members of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington. Today, the National Post wrote that Monday Iran sentenced former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati to death for allegedly spying for the Central Intelligence Agency.
In coming weeks and months, we can expect more tit-for-tat on both sides.
This war may be a covert, low-level one, but a war nevertheless in which lives are lost.
Copyright © 2012 Russell G. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.