Behind the Deepening Crisis with Iran: the Real Story Versus the Cover Story

Recently, President Obama imposed new sanctions on Iran which according to reports have been very effective, causing a sudden major devaluation of Iran’s currency. The Iranians correctly understand that they are under attack, and have threatened to respond by closing the strait of Hormuz, through which a large percentage of oil from the Mideast flows to the global economy.

If the crisis deepens and Iran makes good on its threat to close Hormuz, there is little doubt that the US will intervene to reopen the strait. This will lead to a shooting war for which Iran will be blamed, even though the recent US sanctions were tantamount to overt aggression.

I believe the US will exploit the situation to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. But, even more importantly, the US will target Iran’s conventional missiles. Indeed, I believe this is the real reason for US sanctions in the first place, and for the buildup of tensions in recent days. Despite public perceptions, and all the rhetoric about nukes, the present crisis has nothing to do with Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. In my opinion, that is just a cover story.

The real issue is the fact that Iran has upgraded its medium range conventionally-armed missiles with GPS technology, making its missiles much more accurate. This means Iran can now target Israel’s own nuclear, bio and chemical weapons stockpiles, located inside Israel, as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor.

In short, Iran has achieved a conventional deterrent to Israel. Therefore, statements by Iranian officials that Iran has no nuclear weapons program are in my view probably correct. Presently, Iran does not need nukes to deter Israel. It can do so with its GPS-guided medium range missiles. The Israelis are no doubt gnashing their teeth over this, because they now find themselves threatened by their own WMD stockpiles, and by their own nuclear reactors, especially Dimona, all of which have become targets.

A few direct hits by Iran could cause a toxic plume, killing thousands of Israelis. A worst case might signal the end of the Jewish state.

It is important to realize that Iran would never launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel because the Iranians know that the US/Israeli response would be devastating. However, if Iran comes under attack first, all bets are off. Iran will defend itself. A counter attack on Israel cannot be ruled out because Iranian leaders understand clearly (even if the American people do not) that the crisis has been manufactured, on Israel’s behalf.

From the Israeli standpoint, the present Iranian deterrent (though conventional) is simply unacceptable. Israel’s military strategists have always insisted on total freedom of movement. This is why Israel refused a US offer many years ago to sign a defense pact with the US. Such a treaty would have limited Israel’s freedom of movement, and this was unacceptable. Israel’s leaders preferred to remain independent. Israel has always insisted on the “freedom” to intimidate its neighbors, whenever and howsoever it chooses. Iran’s conventional missiles now curtail that “freedom.” Israeli officials probably worry, for example, that Iran’s conventional missiles would limit its freedom to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, in a future conflict. Hezbollah is closely allied with Tehran.

I believe the present crisis has been manufactured to create the pretext for a US air campaign to take out Iran’s conventional missile sites. The US will also target Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the primary target will be Iran’s conventional missiles. The US will be doing Israel’s bidding. The Zionist tail will be wagging the servile US dog.

Obviously, you can’t generate public support for such a bombing campaign, on Israel’s behalf. Hence the cover story about nukes and the alleged Iranian threat to wipe Israel off the map, all of which is untrue but very effective propaganda nonetheless.

The problem for the US is that depriving Iran of its conventional deterrent will not be easy to accomplish. Indeed, it will be even more difficult than taking out all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran’s conventional missiles are probably dispersed widely. If they come under attack, the purpose of the air campaign will be transparently obvious to the Iranian leadership. Faced with the prospect of losing their deterrent, the Mullahs may well decide to fire their conventional missiles. If they do and manage some direct hits on Israel’s nuclear-bio-and chemical weapons stockpiles, the ensuing disaster will prompt an Israeli response. Israel may even resort to the Samson Option, and attack Iran with nukes. Words cannot describe the horrific scale of such an outcome. Unfortunately, it is all too possible.

Early in the war, US naval  forces in the Gulf will also come under attack. No mistake, Iran has enough anti-ship cruise missiles to pose a grave threat to the US naval presence in the Gulf. Thousands of US sailors are now in harm’s way, and at risk.

We must rally to prevent such a war. Peace activists must now marshal every asset for peace that we possess. The American people need to know the truth. This is a phony crisis. Yet the danger is very real. Now is the time to speak out with all of our strength. Tomorrow could come too late.

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Mark Gaffney

Mark H. Gaffney is the author of five books. His latest is Black 9/11: Money, Motive and Technology (2012, Trineday) Check out his website at Mark can be reached for comment at 

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  • white supremist psyche

    Hey, this is the only way to perpetuate the white supremacy hegemony. Who cares about islamic culture anyway. All the decendents of Abraham will fight each other to the death, like galdiators of Rome. Only one race will rule the world(except the Chinese).

  • Elizabeth Woodworth

    Excellent article! This is the way US foreign policy works, again and again. We need more independent analysis and forums, such as this article, and the Foreign Policy Journal, to resist the madness that emanates from the military economy and its compliant press.

  • Mike_DB

    Mark H. Gaffney, what wonderful reasoning. It’s just too bad the entire GPS infrastructure is owned by the US government. And that the Pentagon has the authority and capability to switch of the entire system any time they please. Or the transmissions of individual satellites.

    As this is usually mentioned in user agreements for GPS navigation devices (consumer & professional, military & civil), I very much doubt that the Israëli military don’t know this. Unlike you.

    But why let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory?

    • Charles Norham

      I think the Israelis have launched plenty of their own military satellites over the decades and don’t need to rely on American GPS. In any case, nothing prevented Israel from bombing Iraq in 1981, despite American opposition.

    • samuel g rangel

      GPS is now available ,courtesy of Russian satellites,Surely Iranian missiles commanders would know what you know, the bet is on.

  • To War Game Iran vs. the US a bit…

    The US starts by hitting the known and suspected nuclear sites, launching from (among others) airbases in Saudi Arabia. (Other assets as scoped)

    Israel, regarded by the Iranians as an unstable system that will collapse over time, is ignored.

    Saudi Arabia, considered a short term threat with increased oil production capability to counterbalance Iranian shortfalls and a long term threat by supporting the most extreme Salafi political parties in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, is attacked conventionally.

    Iranian air forces, cruise and ballistic missiles take Saudi pumping and refining capacity offline completely.

    Internal Iranian politics prove stable and lacking internal resistance, the government continues.

    Now what?