Iran has reached its “empowerment”, so what will the West choose?

Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:

The “Islamic Republic” of Iran reached the level of “empowerment” (Tamkeen) with the arrival of President Ibrahim Raisi to the Presidency, the highest executive authority in the pyramid in harmony with the supreme leader, the Wali al-Faqih Sayyid Ali Khamenei, and with the legislative authority headed by the Speaker of the Shura Council, Muhammad Baqir Qalibaf. The formation of the harmonious trio in power is unprecedented in the history of the Islamic revolution in Iran since 1979: to this must be added Iran’s advanced nuclear research and technology, its advanced missile program and military capabilities, and the high competences of its allies in the Middle East and West Asia. Iran has reached a time in history when it offers the Western world two options, both of which are, from a western perspective, difficult to choose.

In 1980 al-Hassan Bani Sadr was elected the first President of the Republic through the ballot box. The Wali al-Faqih and leader of the Revolution, Imam Khomeini, disapproved of Bani Sadr without necessarily announcing his position or acting according to his opinion and will. At that time, Iran was suffering under the first US sanctions, followed by Saddam Hussein’s war imposed on the “Islamic Republic”. Many Arab and Western countries were on Saddam’s side and supported the war with Iran.

For the first years, Iran could hardly stand up to Saddam Hussein, who enjoyed comprehensive international and regional support. Saddam Hussein was armed and authorised to use chemical weapons, which were not prohibited as long as these were used against the Iranians who rejected the US hegemony and called it the “Great Satan”. Iran’s lack of the simplest weapons triggered this thirst for defensive and offensive arsenal during the Iran-Iraq war: at the front, convoys of young people waited for the martyrdom of their comrades to take their weapons. The elderly volunteers walked in minefields to make room for the young people to attack and advance to restore the territory occupied by Saddam’s forces. 

Evidence for this is the planes that the American envoy, Robert McFarlane, brought to Iran in exchange for the release of Western hostages held in Lebanon in 1985, what was known at the time as the “hostage crisis” and “Iran Contra”.

Iran building its defensive-offensive capabilities

Iran could not stand on its feet for many years, even after the war, because the US sanctions followed. The Iranian domestic ​​military industrialisation then began, which Iran started by developing technology imported from Russia, China and Korea. 

Over the years, Iran has developed its missile capability after acknowledging that it cannot compete and build an air force that represents a suitable deterrent weapon able to confront the US air force or the airpower of America’s allies; air superiority is theirs. Iran succeeded in building tactical and strategic missiles and in this way became capable of defending itself and its allies.

Indeed, Israel’s war on Lebanon in 2006 demonstrated the necessary lessons which were imposed by one of Iran’s strongest allies, “Hezbollah”: surface-to-surface missile strikes versus the Israeli airstrikes created a balance of deterrence.

In 2011, Iran electronic warfare specialists cut off the communications link and captured one of the most advanced CIARQ-170 Sentinel spy drones, and its experts cloned it. In 2018, Iran fired its precision long-range, all-weather, jet-powered subsonic cruise missiles from Iran against ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq. Moreover, during the decade-long Syrian war, Iran and its allies used several new types of missiles (Burkan) whose specification depended on the nature of the battle, the theatre and the topography. 

Drones and missiles were even further developed to suit the requirements of the Iranian military and its allies, each according to the nature of the geography and the theatre of operations in which it is located.

Thus the Palestinian groups in Gaza – who received the knowledge and missile technology from Iran – could impose deterrence on Israel during its most recent battles. Israel was forced to stop the bombing when the Palestinian rockets and missile strikes reached unimagined objectives in the north and south of Israel and continue to fall daily no matter how forcibly the Israeli air force destroyed the city’s military and civilian targets.

 In 2020, Iran struck the most significant American base in Iraq, Ain al-Assad, with 16 precision ballistic missiles. The US CENTCOM commander, General Kenneth Mackenzie, admitted that Iran could have caused over a hundred deaths had Iran not informed in advance of the time of its strike and the targets it wanted to destroy. Mackenzie revealed the accuracy of the 1,000-pound Iranian precision missiles marking the first of their kind since World War II. 

For fear of Iranian missiles that rendered the Strait of Hormuz unsafe for US military bases, the US Central Command is expected to move the theatre of operations to the port of Yanbu, on the Red Sea, in the hope that the Iranian missiles can’t reach that base in the case of war. 

With the Iranian support and sharing of experience and technology in Yemen, Houthis have acquired highly sophisticated armed-suicide-GPS-guided drones and precision missiles, imposing heavy damage on Saudi Arabian forces in Yemen.

Iran a nuclear power

What has increased and tipped the balanced dramatically to Iran’s advantage is the nuclear project. Iranian atomic technology has reached the domestic production stage of many advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium at a faster pace and the production of 60 per cent of enriched uranium. Thus, all nuclear obstacles have collapsed, and the level of Iranian knowledge, experience and expertise necessary to manufacture military nuclear grade has been reached. The only reason why Iran is not producing a nuclear bomb is the prohibition fatwa (a binding religious Islamic opinion pronounced by the highest theological level of Muslim cleric) of the guardian of the jurist (Wali al-Fakih) Sayyed Ali Khamenei. However, a fatwa is not permanent and is in fact somewhat flexible according to the magnitude of the risks facing Iran’s national security or existence.

The conclusion is simple: It is no longer an impossible or even difficult path for Iran to arm and equip itself with all necessary military power to defend itself. It is in a position to show its capabilities and persuade other countries they should avoid a direct war against the “Islamic Republic”.

Iran’s Allies are Part of its National SecurityIn addition, Iran has established relations with many peoples and organisations in the Middle East. Iran succeeded in establishing a solid wall in front of its enemies by 

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