[ Ed. note – The article below was originally published at The New Eastern Outlook website. It’s author, Petr Lvov, makes a compelling argument that Israel and Saudia Arabia are “backed into a corner and in a state of despair” over their failures in Syria and are now conspiring to create a scenario that would “force the US to attack Iran.”
He may be right. Since the article’s publication six days ago, on December 9, we have seen Nikki Haley–just yesterday, as a matter of fact– put on an ostentatious performance in which she stood on a podium in front of a slab of scrap metal she purported to be an Iranian-made missile supplied to the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
By way of response, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a tweet drawing a probably valid comparison between Haley’s claims and Colin Powell’s “anthrax” performance at the UN in 2003.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post has published an article weighing the possibilities of war between Israel and Iran, lamenting that “while Israel has good reasons for its exclusive dependence on the United States, Iran has succeeded in joining the relevant power – Russia.” The author doesn’t come right out and concede that Israel is incapable of militarily defeating Iran on its own–an argument Lvov poses below–but he does admit that “Iran, under certain Russian patronage, and with the help of its proxies, poses a direct and effective military threat to the State of Israel in a way that the IDF has not really fully prepared for.”
All of these factors lend credence to Lvov’s contention that some sort of provocation might be initiated, possibly in the form of a Saudi attack upon Lebanon, designed to draw the US into a war with Iran. And of course the long-established false-flag modus operandi should not be discounted either. ]
By Petr Lvov | New Eastern Outlook
The analytical group SouthFront recently released a remarkable video about the possibility of a war involving Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Israel. Of course, this inevitably means that the war would involve Russia and the United States as well.
To understand the context of this scenario, one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra). The plan involved the following steps:
- sweep away a strong secular Arab state with a political culture, armed forces and security services;
- generate total chaos and horror in Syria that would justify the creation of Israel’s “security zone”, not only in Golan Heights, but also further north;
- start a civil war in Lebanon and incite takfiri violence against Hezbollah, leading to them both bleeding to death and then create a “security zone”, this time in Lebanon;
- prevent the creation of a “Shiite axis” of Iran/Iraq/Syria/Lebanon;
- continue the division of Syria along ethnic and religious lines, establish an independent Kurdistan and then to use them against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
- give Israel the opportunity to become the unquestioned major player in the region and force Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and everyone else to apply for permission from Israel in order to implement any oil and gas projects;
- gradually isolate, threaten, undermine and ultimately attack Iran with a wide regional coalition, removing all Shiite centers of power in the middle East.
It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.
As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the “axis of good” (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.
The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.
For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the “Israel/Wahhabis” have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.
So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons “sorry, we just can’t.” This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction – and then watch as Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims kill each other.
So everything is simple. Let the Saudis attack Lebanon, the Iranian troops in Syria and/or Iran under any pretext. At the same time America runs a full on pro-Israel propaganda campaign, explaining to the average American, easily fooled by TV, that Iran poses a threat to the entire region; that it is the aggressor, and that the Saudis are just protecting themselves from Iranian aggression. Thus congressmen and senators from the Israeli lobby on Capitol Hill are under orders to explain to the American people that the United States should “lead the free world” in order to “protect the only democracy in the middle East against Iranian aggression” and that the United States bears “responsibility” for preventing “the seizure of Saudi oil fields” by Iran etc.
What could Tehran’s counterplan be, given these conditions? The Iranians do not have a good option. The least bad option for them, remaining outwardly passive, risks them being accused by people who are not very smart that Tehran has given up. But even still, it makes sense to refuse entering into a confrontation with the enemy, at least at a strategic level. This absolutely does not mean that Iran should not resist at a tactical level. Even the group of Russian armed forces in Syria are under official orders to defend in case of an attack. We are talking about a strategic level. So as tempting as it may be, the Iranians tend to refrain from retaliation against Saudi Arabia. The same goes for Israel. It’s ironic, but Iran cannot do the same as Hezbollah did in 2006. The reason is simple: by the time the first Hezbollah rockets started falling on Israel, the Israelis had already reached the highest level of escalation. But in the current case of Iran, the United States can raise the level of violence far beyond the limit that the Israelis and the Saudis can reach themselves. The combined power of Israel and Saudi Arabia does not bear comparison with the firepower that the United States CENTCOM+NATO) can muster against Iran. It is therefore crucial that the Iranians do not give the Americans any pretext to officially join the aggression. Instead of bringing down the regime in Riyadh, it is more beneficial for the Iranians to allow and even assist the regime in Riyadh in destroying itself. This process is already underway and Crown Prince Mohammed only accelerated it with his repression of the ruling family. The Saudis’ chance for survival is much smaller than that of the US or Israel.
Needless to say, if the United States gets involved in hostilities against Iran and unleashes all of its military power against them, which is a very real possibility, then all bets are off and Iran should and will respond with a complete set of proportionate and disproportionate responses, including attacks on Israel and Saudi Arabia, on oil fields in particular, and even on CENTCOM bases throughout the region. However, this situation will have disastrous consequences for Iran, and therefore they will avoid it if at all possible. But on their own the Israelis and the Saudis are simply a union without a solid foundation, with even Hezbollah prompting fear in them.