* Global Research: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks *


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

September 21, 2006

Iran is bracing itself for an expected American-led air campaign. The latter is 
in the advanced stages of military planning.

If there were to be war between the United States and Iran, the aerial campaign 
would unleash fierce combat. It would be fully interactive on multiple fronts. 
It would be a difficult battle involving active movement in the air from both 

If war were to occur, the estimates of casualties envisaged by American and 
British war planners would be high.

The expected wave of aerial attacks would resemble the tactics of the Israeli 
air-war against Lebanon and would follow the same template, but on a larger 
scale of execution.

The U.S. government and the Pentagon had an active role in graphing, both 
militarily and politically, the template of confrontation in Lebanon. The 
Israeli siege against Lebanon is in many regards a dress rehearsal for a planned
attack on Iran.1

A war against Iran is one that could also include military operations against 
Syria. Multiple theatres would engulf many of the neighbors of Iran and Syria, 
including Iraq and Israel/Palestine.

It must also be noted that an attack on Iran would be of a scale which would 
dwarf the events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Levant. A full blown war on Iran 
would not only swallow up and incorporate these other conflicts. It would engulf
the entire Middle East and Central Asian region into an extensive confrontation.

An American-led air campaign against Iran, if it were to be implemented, would 
be both similar and contrasting in its outline and intensity when compared to 
earlier Anglo-American sponsored confrontations.

The war would start with intense bombardment and attacks on Iran's 
infrastructure, but would be different in its scope of operations and intensity.

The characteristics of such a conflict would also be unpredictable because of 
Iran's capabilities to respond. And in all likelihood, Iran would launch its own
potent attacks and extend the theatre of war by attacking U.S. and American-led 
troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf.

The United States must also take into account the fact that Iran unlike 
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon would be an opponent with the capability to 
resist the US sponsored attacks on the ground, but also on the sea and in the 

Unlike the former opponents faced by the United States and its partners, Iran 
would be able to target the military launch pads used by the United States. Iran
would also be able to attack the U.S. supply and logistical hubs in the Persian 
Gulf. American ships carrying supplies, troops, and warplanes would be 
vulnerable to Iranian counter-attacks by way of Iranian missiles, warplanes, and
naval forces. It is no mere coincidence that Iran has been demonstrating its 
military capabilities during the ³Blow of Zolfaqar² war games conducted in late 
August .2

Iranian Preparations for an American-led Air Campaign

The United States has continually threatened to attack Iran. These threats are 
made under the pretext of halting the development of nuclear weapons in Iran. 
The development of nuclear weapons by Iran is something the IAEA and its 
inspectors have refuted as untrue3, but the United States insists on continuing 
the charade as grounds for a military endgame with Iran.

The threat of an American-led attack against  Iran with the heavy involvement of
Israel and Britain, amongst others, has primed Iran to prepare itself for the 
anticipated moment. Over the years, this has led Iran to stride for 
self-sufficiency in producing its own advanced military hardware and the 
development of asymmetrical tactics to combat the United States.

Iranian defense planners have stated publicly that they have learned from the 
cases of neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq. They are acutely aware of the U.S. 
military¹s heavy reliance on aerial strikes.

August 2006 saw the start of the virtually unprecedented events of the Blow of 
Zolfaqar war games throughout Iran and its border provinces.4 These were similar
to those conducted in April 2006.

The latter were also held during a period of tense confrontation between Iran 
and the United States.

April 2006 was a period that could have resulted in military conflict between 
both the United States and Iran. In April 2006, Iran had not only dismissed the 
deadline set on its nuclear program, but it announced in defiance to the United 
States that it had successfully enriched uranium for the first time.

Iran has taken the opportunity of the launching of both the April 2006 and Blow 
of Zolfaqar war games to display its preparedness and capability to engage in 
combat. Additionally, Iran has taken the occasion to fine tune its defenses and 
mobilize its military apparatus. This exhibition of Iranian military might is 
intended to deter America's intent to trigger another Middle Eastern war.

During the war games, the Iranian military has adjusted and modified its air 
defense shield for maximum dexterity and efficiency in preparation, to stop 
incoming missiles and invading aircraft..5  The war games have been an 
opportunity for testing of Iranian capacity to wage war in the air

The Iranian military has also reported the testing of laser-guided weaponry, 
advanced torpedoes, ballistic missiles, anti-ship missiles, bullets that pierce 
through bullet-proof vests, and electronic military hardware during the Blow of 
Zolfaqar war games.6 Surface-to-surface and ocean-to-surface missiles 
(submarine-to-surface missiles) in the Persian Gulf were also tested in 
late-August 2006. These included missiles that are invisible to radar and can 
use multiple warheads or carry multiple payloads to hit numerous targets 

Iran has also tested a ³2,000 pound guided-bomb with long-range capabilities.² 
This ³2,000 pound bomb² is said to be a ³special weapon developed for 
penetrating military, economic and strategic targets located deep underground or
on the soil of the [impending] enemy.²7 In the case of war, this weapon could be
directed against Anglo-American military infrastructure in Iraq, Afghanistan, 
and the Persian Gulf. This guided bomb is an unmanned aircraft carrying an 
explosive warhead.  Following the execution of the Blow of Zolfaqar war games, 
the Iranian Defense Minister stated that ³Iran now joins the few countries that 
possess guided missile technology,²8

Iran has also been manufacturing its own warplanes,9 submarines, attack 
helicopters, tanks, torpedoes, and missiles. This includes remote-controlled 
modified Maverick Missiles.10 Brigadier-General Amini, the Deputy Commander of 
the Air Branch (Air Force) of the Regular Forces, has highlighted that Iran has 
starting the development and manufacturing of new types of warplanes besides the
³Lighting fighter jets² that have been showcased in Northern Iran.11

To discourage the United States in its plans to attack Iran, the Iranian 
military has additionally been showcasing its abilities to dog fight in the air 
with its fighter jets.12 Iranian fighter and bomber jets have been progressively
equipped with advanced software and hardware, developed in Iran or by way of 
technology transfers from China, the Russian Federation, and the republics of 
the former Soviet Union.

Iranian Commanders have also stated that Iran can track and hit warplanes 
without using conventional radar. Iran has also been showcasing its signal 
jamming devices and electronic military hardware, which it compares to NATO 

Warnings to the  United States To Stop Its War Plans

In Iran military commanders and state officials have also directly warned the 
United States to halt its march towards war in the Middle East. An account of a 
statement by Major-General Salehi, commander of the Iranian Army, sums up the 
generic view of Iranian military officials and planners in the advent of another
Middle Eastern war initiated by the United States;

³Pointing to the joint maneuvers to be carried out by the U.S. army [meaning 
military] and some other countries in the regional waters in the coming days, 
the General said that the U.S. presence in the region [Middle East] is 
considered as a threat to the security of the regional countries, and further 
warned Washington that in case the U.S. dares to practice threats [by actually 
attacking], it will then have to face a defeat as bad as the one that the 
Zionists [Israel] had to sustain in Lebanon.²14

The Iranian Defence Minister has said ³that his ministry is now equipping the 
border units of the army with modern military tools and weapons in a bid to 
increase their military capabilities,²15 and ³that any possible enemy invasion 
of Iran will receive a severe blow, adding that failures of alien troops 
[meaning U.S., British, Coalition, and NATO forces] in Iraq and Afghanistan have
taught trans-regional powers extreme caution.²16

Other examples of public warnings by Iranian military commanders directed at the
United States and its partners include;

Acting Deputy Commander [Brigadier-General Ahmadi] of the Iranian Mobilized 
Forces (Basij), noting the intensification of the psychological operations and 
pressures against Iran, stressed that his troops are fully prepared to encounter
³any stupid act by the enemies.²17 (September 9, 2006)

[Brigadier-General Mohammad Hejazi] advised the U.S. to relinquish the idea of 
invading Iran, stressing that as soon as the U.S. dares to make such a big 
mistake, it will lose its forged reputation due to its [the U.S. military¹s] 
frequent and shocking defeats from the Iranian troops.18 (September 10, 2006)

[Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Major-General Safavi has warned 
that Revolutionary Guard] ground troops form a defensive force, but meantime 
warned that in case any foreign threats are posed to Iran, [assured that the] 
IRGC adopts an aggressive strategy and hits enemy targets in strategic depth. He
also described the southwestern province of Khuzestan as the most strategic 
region of the country, saying, ³Considering that Khuzestan is a border province 
located at our sensitive borders with Iraq where British and American occupying 
troops aim at devising cultural and security plots for Khuzestani people through
their intelligence organizations and bodies, IRGC and Basij troops should 
maintain their preparedness at [the] highest levels possible in order to 
confront and defuse any such measures by the enemies.²19 (September 13, 2006: 
Also See British Troops Mobilizing on the Iranian Border)

During the August war games, Iranian military commanders claimed, in a gesture 
directed towards the United States, Britain, and Israel, ³that no air force of 
any power stationed in the Middle East is capable of confronting the Iranian 
military¹s ground forces.²20

This might seem like a psychological tactic to influence morale on both sides 
and deter any possible aerial assaults against Iran. This statement cannot be 
easily overruled if a comprehensive analysis is made and studied. In this 
regard, one must look at Lebanon, where Hezbollah and the Lebanese Resistance 
were able to withstand Israeli air raids and overcome the Israeli military on 
the ground. The Lebanese Resistance is reported as being armed and trained by 
the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. What would an Iranian defensive of a larger 
magnitude, with state resources and air capabilities, be like?

The anticipation of a conflict are also coming from Iraq. Iraqi leaders have 
been charging that the United States and Britain plan on attacking Iran from 
Iraqi territory. Government representatives of Anglo-American occupied Iraq have
asked that Iraq not be turned into a theatre of war between the United States 
and Iran.  ³We do not want Iraq to become an arena where other states [i.e., the
United States, Britain, and Iran] settle their accounts,²21 said the Iraqi 
Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih while visiting the Iranian capital, Tehran. 
This message looked as if it was mainly directed at the United States, as well 
as Iran.

Iran Always a Military Objective for the United States  Washington: ³Anyone can 
go to Baghdad! Real Men go to Tehran!²

According to Michel Chossudovsky (The Next Phase of the Middle East War, 
September, 2006), the war on Iran is another phase of a ³military roadmap² which
includes the invasions of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) and the 
Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon (2006) as earlier stages.

In May, 2003 after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the motto 
in Washington D.C. was

³Anyone can go to Baghdad! Real men go to Tehran!²

One should ask why "real" men would continue towards Tehran after the invasion 
of Iraq. This slogan demonstrates that Iran was an objective or a phase in a 
broader military operation. With that said, Washington would prefer some form of
internal "non-violent" regime change in Iran leading to American control of the 
Iranian economy and oil resources rather than a high-risk and high cost military
confrontation. The shape and nature of this conflict, however, is uncertain.

The possibility of conflict with Iran and a major aerial assault are widely 

The United States has been planning to attack Iran for years. Colonel Sam 
Gardiner (Retired, U.S. Air Force) has stated that the campaign against Iran is 
one where ³the issue is not whether the military option would be used, but who 
approved the start of operations already.²

The March to War with Iran and Syria

With time fleeting, the Iranian military is positioning itself in battle 
formations under the pretext of nationwide war games and other pretexts. Iran 
has been steadily strengthening its air defenses and air units in preparation 
for the possibility of strikes. Iranian and Syrian coordination is also 
intensifying with the passing of time.

An attack on Iran and Syria would be a combination of heavy air bombardment by 
the U.S. Air Force, including the U.S. Army¹s air units. It would also include a
ground offensive led by the U.S. Marines and Army from the American bases 
surrounding both Iran and Syria. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard would 
predominately manage the theatre of war in the Persian Gulf, with a view to 
guaranteeing the unimpeded flow of oil through the strategic Straits of Hormuz.

The Israeli military would deal with military operations in the Levant. Both 
Israeli troops and Israeli public opinion are being prepared for the possibility
of another Middle Eastern conflict. In this context, Israel would face the 
possibility  of aerial assaults from Iran. Iran has threatened to retaliate if 
it is attacked, using its ballistic missiles.

British and Australian forces in southern Iraq would deploy with the strategic 
aim of occupying the Iranian province of Khuzestan and securing its oil. 
Khuzestan is where most of Iran¹s oil fields are located. Meanwhile a naval 
build-up is developing in the Persian Gulf which also includes the U.S. Coast 
Guard and the Canadian Navy.

The United States and its partners meanwhile are continuing to marshal and 
siphon their forces into the Middle East and Afghanistan. Both the United States
and Britain have promised troop reductions in Iraq, but are actually increasing 
their troop levels. It also seems that a muzzle is being placed on Lebanon to 
stop any attacks on Israel by the presence of troops from member states of NATO.

Syria also seems to be expecting a possible aerial campaign. A vessel sailing to
Syria under the flag of Panama, the ³Grigorio I,² has been reported to have been
stopped off the coast of Cyprus transporting 18 truck-mounted mobile radar 
systems and three command vehicles for delivery to Syria. This equipment appears
to be part of an air defence system.22

In Iran, the Intelligence Minister has warned that ³enemies are seeking to 
create instability in Iran through different measures, including assassinations,
explosions and extensive insecurities² and that ³his forces, in cooperation and 
coordination with other governmental bodies, have defused enemies¹ plots in 
different Iranian provinces, including Tehran.²23

Venezuela has also threatened to halt oil exports in the event of an 
Anglo-American aggression against Iran and Syria. Venezuela has gone on to 
caution that it will defend Iran ³under threat of invasion from the United 
States.² This was a warning given to the United States by Venezuela during the 
Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Cuba.24

The United States has already started to target both Iran and Syria¹s financial 
bodies and institutions in an act of economic warfare. Syria has in step with 
Iran taken ³preventative steps² in early 2006 by switching from using the U.S. 
dollar to using the Euro for all its transactions. The head of the state-owned 
Syria Commercial Bank has said that such measures have been taken to protect 
Syria from American sanctions (economic warfare).25

Actions have been taken against the large, state-owned Bank Saderat of Iran by 
the United States.26 The Bank Saderat has been cut off from the U.S. financial 
system and its network(s). This is part of a deliberate objective to financially
cut off Iran from the rest of the world. Three large Japanese banks, the Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking 
Corporation have followed in step and will terminate business with Bank 


1 Seymour H. Hersh, Washing Lebanon: Washington¹s Interest in Israel¹s War, The 
New Yorker, August 14 & 21, 2006


2 Iranian War Games: Exercises, Tests, and Drills or Preparation and 
Mobilization for War?, Global Research (CRG), August 21, 2006


3 IAEA: US report on Iran ³Outrageous,² Aljazeera, September 15, 2006


4 Iranian War Games: Exercises, Tests, and Drills or Preparation and 
Mobilization for War?, Global Research (CRG), August 21, 2006


5 Iran 'successfully' tests new air defence system, People¹s Daily, September 5,

 Iranian Missile Test; Xinhua News Agency, September 5, 2006

6 Iran tests laser-guided bomb during war games, The Hindu, September 5, 2006


7 Iran completes military exercise by testing 2,000-pound bomb, Pravada; 
September 7, 2006


8 Iran tests first-ever 2,000-pound guided bomb: Minister; IRNA, September 6, 


9 Karimi, Nasser; Iran deploys locally-manufactured warplane, Hindustan Times, 
September 6, 2006

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1787643,00050004.htm, Originally 
published by the Associated Press

10 Enemy Targets Destroyed by Maverick Missiles, Fars News Agency, September 6, 


Maverick missiles are American made or developed air-to-surface missiles which 
are conventionally used to attack armoured units, warships, air defences, 
military transport and logistics units, and military depots.

11 Iran to Manufacture a New Jet Fighter, Fars News Agency, September 12, 2006


12 Complicated Dogfight Tactics Exercised during 'Blow of Zolfaqar' War Games, 
Fars News Agency, September 4, 2006


Iranian F14s Carry Hawk Missiles Successfully, Fars News Agency, September 4, 


13 Iran says ready to combat electronic warfare, Iranmania, Sunday, March 05, 

14 Army Prepared to Force Back Trans-Regional Threats, Fars News Agency, 
September 6, 2006


Trans-regional powers mean non-Middle Eastern nations with substantial force in 
the Middle East (the region being talked about).

15 Defense Minister: Any Foreign Aggression Responded by Force; Fars News 
Agency; September 2, 2006


16 Defence Minister: Any Military Aggression against Iran Struck Back Heavily, 
Fars News Agency, September 4, 2006


17 Mobilize Forces Prepare to Encounter Enemies, Fars New Agency, September 9, 


18 Basij Comander: Enemies Awe Shattered Once they Err, Fars News Agency, 
September 10, 2006


19 Commander Warns o IRGC¹s Aggressive Strategy in Case of Foreign Threats, Fars
News Agency, September 13, 2006


20 No Air Force Capable of Confronting Iranian Army, Fars News Agency; August 
19, 2006 http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8505280544

21 Iraq Not a Place for Others to Settle Accounts, Fars News Agency, September 
6, 2006


22 Cyprus finds air-defence systems on Syria-bond ship, Reuters, September , 


23 Intelligence Minister: Enemies Plots Defused in Tehran, Border Provinces, 
Fars News Agency, September 13, 2006


24 Chavez pledge support for Iran, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 
September 15, 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5347978.stm

25 Syria switches to euro amid sanctions threat, Xinhua News Agency, February 
13-14, 2006


26 Lawder, David; US Treasury say Iran pressure can be unilateral, Reuters, 
September 12, 2006

27 Three big Japan banks decide not to deal with Iran's Bank Saderat, Forbes, 
September 16, 2006


Related articles, Centre for Research on Globalization:
The Next Phase of the Middle East War 2006-09-04
Baluchistan and the Coming Iran War 2006-09-01
British Troops Mobilizing on the Iranian Border 2006-08-30

Russia and Central Asian Allies Conduct War Games in Response to US Threats 

Beating the Drums of War: US Troop Build-up: Army & Marines authorize 
"Involuntary Conscription" 2006-08-23

Iranian War Games: Exercises, Tests, and Drills or Preparation and Mobilization 
for War? 2006-08-21

Triple Alliance": The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon  2006-08-06

The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil 2006-07-26

Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?   2006-02-22

The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War 2006-02-17

Nuclear War against Iran 2006-01-03

Israeli Bombings could lead to Escalation of Middle East War 2006-07-15

Iran: Next Target of US Military Aggression   2005-05-01

Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran 2005-05-01
See also

Rogers, Paul; Iran: Consequences of a War, Oxford Research Group; February, 2006



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