December 2, 2020
As you may have seen in the news, last week an Iranian nuclear scientist was gunned down in a military style execution and there are still many questions on who did it, why they did and, and most importantly, what was the scientist developing…
Here today to tackle this topic is my good friend and regular contributor for us here at American Consequences, Seb Gorka.
I (Trish Regan) first met Seb when he was a guest on my Fox program in the horrific aftermath of the 2015 Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people and wounded 494. He’s pro-Israel, pro-America and like all of us, very much wants to see a peaceful, prosperous Middle East.
How Will Iran Respond… And to Whom?
Geopolitics waits for no man… or Electoral College.
Joe Biden may have declared himself president-elect of the United States, while President Trump’s legal team, headed by Rudy Giuliani, may be challenging the electoral results in key battleground states…
But the Middle East is still the Middle East, and things work there at their own inexorable pace. Witness the recent Tom Clancy-esque assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, east of the capital of Tehran.
Who planned and implemented the attack is not yet known… No one has claimed responsibility for the operation that, according to official Iranian sources, involved a hidden machine gun in a parked vehicle that was remotely actuated, killing Fakhrizadeh and one of the bodyguards who was riding with him in his armored sedan.
Yet there are two nations committed to ensuring that the theocratic dictatorship of Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons capability… Israel and the U.S., the countries that the ayatollahs respectively refer to as the Lesser and Greater Satan.
Given the audacity and ingenuity of the attack, it is more likely that Bibi Netanyahu’s administration was behind the operation, given Israel’s long history of such hunter-killer missions (the most famous being Israel’s response to the Black September terrorist attack on the Olympic team at the 1972 Munich Games).
But it is also possible that the White House was aware of the mission, given the hardline stance of President Trump when it comes to the largest state-sponsor of terrorism today. Whether it was Israel alone or not is functionally irrelevant… Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had already vowed revenge, and that promise was clearly aimed at his regime’s greatest enemies – Israel and America. So what now?
Since President Trump withdrew the U.S. two years ago from Obama’s JCPOA Iran deal – a move that was easy to take given that his predecessor had neglected to ratify the deal in the form of a treaty, which the Senate would have had to approve and which it clearly would not have – his administration has imposed one of the toughest sanction programs in modern history against Iran. The effect of those sanctions, added to the already overburdensome military adventurism of the mullahs across the region – especially in Yemen – has practically brought the national economy of Iran to its knees. Thus a robust military response of any kind is clearly out of the question.
Could we see spoiler actions in the Straits of Hormuz, or covert revenge operations by irregular units of the Quds Force or Iran’s sundry terrorist proxies? That is not out of the question. Remember, not too long ago, Tehran plotted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States as he was dining in a D.C. restaurant (before the FBI found out). And that was during the far-friendlier Obama years that resulted in the JCPOA that was so favorable to Iran.
But does it make sense for the mullahs to take hasty action? Logically, it may not…
We are weeks away from the Electoral College actually voting for the next president of the United States. We are more than a month away from the count of that vote occurring in Washington, D.C. during the constitutionally mandated joint session of Congress that tallies the actual presidential ballots. And we are almost two months away from the actual inauguration. Would it make sense to take action against the U.S., her deployed forces, or her closest current ally in the Middle East at this time? No, it would not… not right now.
But then again, that’s if you are thinking logically. If you are instead the “Supreme Leader” of a theocratic regime that believes in the “occultation of the Hidden Imam,” well, you may see things a tad differently.
Which will win… realpolitik or eschatology? We shall soon find out.
Sebastian Gorka, PhD was strategist to the president of the United States, is host of America First on the Salem Radio network, and is a presidential appointee to the Department of Defense’s National Security Education Board. His latest book is The War for America’s Soul. Follow him at @SebGorka. Photo: AP.
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Executive Editor, American Consequences
With Editorial Staff
December 2, 2020