STOPTHEWARNOW/IRAN
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IRAN WAR SCENARIOS - INCLUDING WORLD NUCLEAR WAR
Regime Change | Current Attack Plans | Iran's Military | Military Scenarios | Economic Backlash
NOTE: This Page Has Not Been Updated Much Since 2005 Because There Is So Much Iran News Now
FOR UP-to-DATE ARTICLES ON IRAN SCENARIOS DO AN INTERNET SEARCH OR SEE ANTIWAR.COM'S
IRAN NEWS PAGE

REGIME CHANGE WITHOUT MILITARY ATTACK
Oct 2004: Sabotage an option against Iran's atomic plans-experts
Dec 2004: Hawks Plan 'Peaceful' Regime Change in Iran
Jan 2005: The Salvador Death Squad Option In Iraq
Feb 2005: Psywar keeps Tehran on tenterhooks

US-ISRAEL CURRENT ATTACK PLANS
Sept 2004: US Sells Israel Bunker/Smart Bombs to Attack Iran
Known by the military designations GBU-27 or GBU-28, "bunker busters" are guided by lasers or satellites and can penetrate up to 30 feet of earth and concrete. Israel may already have some of the bombs for its U.S.-supplied F-15 fighter jets
Sept 2004: More on bombs to Israel
The transfer also includes 2,500 2,000-pound Mark-84 bombs, 500 1,000-pound Mark-83 bombs, 1,500 500-pound Mark-82 bombs and live fuses.  All the bombs are being fitted with the Joint Direct Air Munitions (JDAM) kit which uses inertial guidance and beacons from U.S. military Global Positioning Satellites for deadly accuracy
Mar 2005: Converging U.S. Navy aircraft carrier groups in ME send message to Iran The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is on the move in Atlantic Ocean and is possibly headed towards the Mediterranean Sea. The convergence of three carrier groups in the corridor of the Middle East will send very strong message to the Syrians and Iranians. There are indications that soon US is moving two more aircraft carrier battle groups to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. (Pro-Iran war author John Corsi makes same report a week later.)  (See maps of US military bases.)
Mar 2005: Israel, U.S. war game eyes Iranian missiles
The month-long war game, codenamed Juniper Cobra, will test Israel's Arrow II missile-killer system in conjunction with U.S.-supplied Patriot batteries, which shoot down incoming threats at lower altitudes.

IRAN MILITARY CAPABILITIES 
IRAN MILITARY GUIDE  http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/
Full details of weapons of Irans weapons of war.
IRAN MILITARY AIR ARMS http://www.scramble.nl/ir.htm
IRAN MISSILES http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/missile/index.html

Sept 2004: Iranian Missiles Threaten Israel/Iraq 9/25/2004
Russian missile parts for Shahab-3 - 1300 mile range, put Israel and US forces in the region in reach.
Chinese companies have sold CSS-8 and DF-15 ballistic missiles to Iran, along with cruise missiles identified as HY-1, HY-2 Silkworm, C-201, C-601, C-801 and C-802. 
   
Iran's Shahab-3 mobile missiles to left, CSS-9 at right.
Feb 2005:U.S. intelligence on Iran seen lacking
    "If U.S. intelligence was bad in Iraq, and it was atrocious, it's probably going to be worse vis-a-vis Iran," said Richard Russell, a former CIA analyst who teaches at the National Defense University.  The task of recruiting useful agents in Iran faces immense hurdles posed by a secretive decision-making hierarchy and widespread mistrust of the U.S. government, experts said.
Mar 2005: Intelligence about Iran for Bush is called weak
     A presidential commission due to report to President George W. Bush this month will describe American intelligence on Iran as inadequate and not complete enough to allow firm judgments about that country's illicit weapons programs...One person who described the panel's deliberations and conclusions characterized the state of American intelligence on Iran as "scandalous" given the importance and relative openness of the country.

Feb 2005: Iran's nuclear sites tough targets
Iraq's nuclear program was concentrated in an above-ground location easily spotted by the Israeli bomber pilots, but Iran's nuclear operations are dispersed throughout that country, with some key centers hidden underground. Iran is believed to have as many as 20 nuclear-related facilities in a nation with a larger land mass than Alaska.   (See maps of Iranian nuclear and military targets. Bushehr nuclear facility at left.)
Mar 2005: AP: Iran Stockpiling High-Tech Small Arms
Iran is quietly building a stockpile of thousands of high-tech small arms and other military equipment from armor-piercing snipers' rifles to night-vision goggles through legal weapons deals and a U.N. anti-drug program, according to an internal U.N. document, arms dealers and Western diplomats.

VARIOUS MILITARY SCENARIOS
Sept 2004: Outline of US/Israel Airstrikes on Iran
    Military planners could tailor their target list to reflect the preferences of the Administration by having limited air strikes that would target only the most crucial facilities in an effort to delay or obstruct the Iranian program or the United States could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a comprehensive range of WMD related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq.
    ...It would be difficult for Israel to strike at Iran without American knowledge, since the mission would have to be flown through American [formerly Iraqi] air space. Even if the United States did not actively participate with operations inside Iranian air space, the US would be a passive participant by virtue of allowing Israeli aircraft unhindered passage. In the eyes of the world, it would generally appear to be a joint US-Israeli enterprise, any denials notwithstanding. Indeed, it is quite probable that Iran would not be able to readily determine the ultimate origins of the strike, given Iran's relatively modest air defense capabilities. Thus, even if the strike were entirely of American origin, Israel would be implicated...
Sept 2004: Four Day War: Scenario of How War on Iran Would Go
     What follows is the unfolding of a worst-case scenario, an imaginary yet all-too-possible depiction of how events might develop if Israel were to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
     Day One: Wednesday -- In a pre-dawn raid, undisclosed numbers of Israeli warplanes, taking off from military airbases in the Negev, destroy Iran’s main nuclear facility at Bushehr. ..During the one-hour raid, Iran claims to have shot down “several” Israeli fighters. Television images show pilots being lynched by furious mobs before Iranian authorities could reach them. The after-effects of the raid shake the Arab and Islamic world. Millions take to the streets demanding immediate action against Israel...American intelligence convinced Israel that as long as Musharraf remains in power, Pakistan does not represent an imminent threat. The decision was made not to hit Pakistan.
    Day Two: Thursday -  Iran retaliates. Thousands of Revolutionary Guards are dispatched across the border into Iraq with orders to inflict as many casualties on American troops as possible. Iranian sleeper agents, who have infiltrated Iraq since the downfall of Saddam, urge Iraqi Shi’ites into action.  Tehran orders the Lebanese Shi’ite movement, Hezbollah, into action against northern Israel. Hezbollah launches scores of rockets and mortars against kibbutzim, towns, and settlements. Israel retaliates. Crowds of gigantic proportions take to the streets, ransacking Israeli embassies in Cairo, Amman, and Ankara. American embassies in a number of other cities are burned.
     Day Three: Friday - Following Friday prayers across the Islamic world, crowds incited by fiery sermons in mosques from Casablanca to Karachi take to the streets in the worst protests yet. In Saudi Arabia, Islamist militants engage in open gun battles with security forces in several cities. In Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, and a dozen other countries, crowds continue to run amok, demanding war on Israel.
    Day Four: Saturday - A longstanding plan to overthrow Musharraf is carried out by senior Pakistani army officers loyal to the Islamic fundamentalists and with close ties to bin Laden. Within hours, and before news of the coup leaks out, Pakistan, now run by pro-bin Laden fundamentalists, loads two nuclear weapons aboard executive Lear jets [that] dive into the outskirts of the two [Israeli] cities, detonating their nuclear devices in the process.
    The rest of this scenario can unfold in a number of ways. Take your pick; none are encouraging.
     Israel retaliates against Pakistan, killing millions in the process. Arab governments fall. Following days of violence, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt succumb to Islamist rebels who vow open warfare with Israel. The Middle East regresses into war, with the fighting claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. A much-weakened Israel, now struggling for its very survival, deploys more nuclear weapons, targeting multiple Arab capitals. The Middle East is in complete mayhem, as the United States desperately tries to arrange a cease-fire.
From: IS NUCLEAR WAR INEVITABLE? - Israeli Nuclear Threats and Blackmail
....  Seymour Hersh warns, "Should war break out in the Middle East again,...  or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability."  Ezar Weissman, Israel's current President said "The nuclear issue is gaining momentum (and the)  next war will not be conventional." Russia and before it the Soviet Union has long been a major (if not the major) target of Israeli nukes.  It is widely reported that the principal purpose of Jonathan Pollard's spying for Israel was to furnish satellite images of Soviet targets and other super sensitive data relating to U.S. nuclear targeting strategy....
From: IS NUCLEAR WAR INEVITABLE? - Alternate Scenarios # 3  (Color-coded with map.) Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities and/or Syria and Lebanon.  These countries respond with massive rocket attacks using conventional bombs and even some chemical, biological or radiological weapons.   Israel responds with nuclear strikes against these nations and Pakistan.  Outraged Pakistan retaliates against Israel and pre-emptively attacks Israel's ally/Pakistan's enemy India, which retaliates.  Israel initiates "Samson option" and attacks Arab and Muslim capitols, as well as "antisemitic" Europe and Russia.  Russian regional commanders retaliate against Israel, its ally the U.S., and U.S. European allies and China, to destroy its nuclear capability.  The U.S. retaliates against Russia and hits China's nuclear capability.  China uses any remaining nuclear weapons against Russia, the U.S. and India. India retaliates against China.
See Photos of Progression of Nuclear War from War Buildup to Massive Devastation
Oct 2004: Israel's Delusional Plans to Attack Iran - Military Details
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has already sent Israel’s three Dolphin-class nuclear submarines to the Gulf of Oman – within striking distance of Iran.
     Under its military aid treaty with Israel, the Pentagon is sending Tel Aviv 500 “bunker buster” warheads in November. The delivery date is set for the day after the US election.
    The bunker busters have BLU-109 warheads capable of penetrating the Natanz underground facilities.
    An assault against Iranian targets will also involve Israel’s Airforce three squadrons of F-15 fighter-bombers.
    To reach the gulf of Oman, the Dolphin submarines will have completed an 8,000-mile journey from their pens in Haifa. Each submarine carries 20 Cruise missiles. They also have 200kg warheads, each containing 5kg plutonium.
    Israel has also developed an ultra sophisticated range of electronic weapons. These are capable of: totally disabling communications between Iran’s regional military commanders. Closing down the countries banking system. Wrecking its internal transport system.

 
Iran's Russian Sunburn and Yakhonts missiles
 Nov 2004: The Sunburn - Iran's Russian Missile Could Destroy US Navy in Gulf
       Many years ago, Soviet planners gave up trying to match the US Navy ship for ship, gun for gun, and dollar for dollar.  They shrewdly adopted an alternative approach based on strategic defense - developing several supersonic anti-ship missiles, one of which, the SS-N-22 Sunburn, has been called "the most lethal missile in the world today." Today, Russian missiles are a growth industry generating much-needed cash for Russia, with many billions in combined sales to India, China, Viet Nam, Cuba, and also Iran. In the near future this dissemination of advanced technology is likely to present serious challenges to the US. Some have even warned that the US Navy's largest ships, the massive carriers, have now become floating death traps, and should for this reason be mothballed.
     The Sunburn missile has never seen use in combat, to my knowledge, which probably explains why its fearsome capabilities are not more widely recognized. Other cruise missiles have been used, of course, on several occasions, and with devastating results.
     During the Falklands War, French-made Exocet missiles, fired from Argentine fighters, sunk the HMS Sheffield and another ship. And, in 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war, the USS Stark was nearly cut in half by a pair of Exocets while on patrol in the Persian Gulf. Not only is the Sunburn much larger and faster, it has far greater range and a superior guidance system.
    The Sunburn can deliver a 200-kiloton nuclear payload, or: a 750-pound conventional warhead, within a range of 100 miles, more than twice the range of the Exocet. The Sunburn combines a Mach 2.1 speed (two times the speed of sound) with a flight pattern that hugs the deck and includes "violent end maneuvers" to elude enemy defenses. The missile was specifically designed to defeat the US Aegis radar defense system.  A single one of these missiles can sink a large warship, yet costs considerably less than a fighter jet.
     The US Navy has never faced anything in combat as formidable as the Sunburn missile.  Try and imagine it if you can: barrage after barrage of Exocet-class missiles, which the Iranians are known to possess in the hundreds, as well as the unstoppable Sunburn and Yakhonts missiles. The questions that our purblind government leaders should be asking themselves, today, if they value what historians will one day write about them, are two: how many of the Russian anti-ship missiles has Putin already supplied to Iran? And: How many more are currently in the pipeline?
    The US Navy will come under fire even if the US does not participate in the first so-called surgical raids on Iran's nuclear sites, that is, even if Israel goes it alone.  Armed with their Russian-supplied cruise missiles, the Iranians will close the lake's only outlet, the strategic Strait of Hormuz, cutting off the trapped and dying Americans from help and rescue. The US fleet massing in the Indian Ocean will stand by helplessly, unable to enter the Gulf to assist the survivors or bring logistical support to the other US forces on duty in Iraq.
      With enough anti-ship missiles, the Iranians can halt tanker traffic through Hormuz for weeks, even months. With the flow of oil from the Gulf curtailed, the price of a barrel of crude will skyrocket on the world market. Within days the global economy will begin to grind to a halt.


During the Falklands War, French-made Exocet missiles, fired from Argentine fighters, sunk the HMS Sheffield and another ship - leading to the NEWSWEEK front page story.  US ships may try to stay well out of range of such missiles, in the Mediterranean or Red Sea.
Dec 2004: Changing The Iran Regime US Plan with No Israel Involvement
Dec 2004: To Destroy Iran's Nuclear Bomb Program, 350 Targets Must Be Hit
(Two similar reports)
    According to the London-based Arab-language newspaper A-Shark al-Ausat, a group of the US experts [are creating an attack plan].  The plan concludes three major activities:
** Twenty four hours on bombing and destroying main Iran airbases and  concentrated forces of the Islam Revolution Guards
** Missiles and bombs while then assault nuclear objects and non- conventional arms plants - 350 plus sites
** Occupation of Iran by the US ground forces located in the neighboring Gulf States, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iraq.

Feb 2005: More On What Iran Might Do If Attacked
    The Pentagon recently revealed that, as a matter of routine preparedness, it had upgraded its Iranian war plans, and the Washington Post has reported that unmanned U.S. drones (see photo) have been flying over  suspected nuclear sites in Iran.
      Iranian authorities, too, say they have been getting ready for a possible attack. Newspapers have announced efforts to increase the number of the country's 7 million-strong "Basiji" volunteer militia, which was deployed in human-wave attacks during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Iranian military authorities have paraded long-range North Korean-designed Shahab missiles before television cameras.
      It remains unclear how much of the recent military activity amounts to a mobilization and how much is propaganda. Iranian officials and analysts have said they want to highlight the potential costs of an attack on Iran to raise the stakes for U.S. officials considering an assault and to frighten a war- weary American public.

     "If America decides to attack, the only ones who could stop it are Iranians," he said. "Pressure from other countries and inside America is important, but it won't prevent an attack. The only thing that will prevent an attack is that if America knows it will pay a heavy price."

      Iran's army includes 350,000 active-duty soldiers and 220,000 conscripts. Its elite Revolutionary Guards number 120,000, many of them draftees. Its navy and air force total 70,000 men. The armed forces have about 2,000 tanks, 300 combat aircraft, three submarines, hundreds of helicopters and at least a dozen Russian-made Scud missile launchers of the type Saddam Hussein used against Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. Iran also has an undetermined number of Shahab missiles that have a range of more than 1,500 miles.
      Yet both outside military experts and Iranians concede that the country's antiquated conventional hardware, worn down by years of U.S. and European sanctions, would be little match for the high-tech wizardry of the United States.
      Despite the state of its equipment, Iran could create myriad troubles for the United States and the world.
      Its security forces include a number of intelligence agencies with extensive overseas experience and assets, experts say. Iran's highly classified Quds forces, which answer directly to Iran's spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are believed to have operations in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, the Persian Gulf region, Central Asia, North Africa, Europe and North America, according to a December 2004 report prepared by CSIS.

      Within minutes of any attack, Iran's air (see photo) and sea forces could threaten oil shipments in the Persian Gulf as well as the Gulf of Oman. Iran controls the northern coast of the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway through which oil tankers must navigate, and could sink ships, mine sea routes or bomb oil platforms, according to the CSIS report.
      Iran could activate Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, whom it supports, to launch attacks on Israel. It could have operatives attack U.S. interests in Azerbaijan, Central Asia or Turkey.
     "Iran can escalate the war," said Hadian. "It's not going to be all that hard to target U.S. forces in these countries."
      But most analysts agree that Iran's biggest trump card would be to unleash havoc in neighboring Iraq, where Shiites who spent years in Iran as exiles are assuming control of the government.
     "If Iran wanted, it could make Iraq a hell for the United States," Hamid al-Bayati, Iraq's deputy foreign minister, said recently.
How Iran will fight back
    A week-long combined air and ground maneuver has just concluded in five of the southern and western provinces of Iran, mesmerizing foreign observers, who have described as "spectacular" the  massive display of high-tech, mobile operations, including rapid-deployment forces relying on squadrons of helicopters, air lifts, missiles, as well as hundreds of tanks and tens of thousands of well-coordinated personnel using live munition. Simultaneously, some 25,000 volunteers have so far signed up at newly established draft centers for "suicide attacks" against any potential intruders in what is commonly termed "asymmetrical warfare".
      According to a much-publicized article on the "Iran war game" in the US-based Atlantic Monthly, the estimated cost of an assault on Iran is a paltry few tens of millions of dollars. This figure is based on a one-time "surgical strike" combining missile attacks, air-to-surface bombardments, and covert operations, without bothering to factor in Iran's strategy, which aims precisely to "extend the theater of operations" in order to exact heavier and heavier costs on the invading Enemy, including by targeting America's military command structure in the Persian Gulf.

      Iraq's missiles played an important role in extending the warfare to Israel, on the US forces in Saudi Arabia.  Today, in the evolution of Iran's military doctrine, the country relies on increasingly precise long-range missiles, eg, Shahab-3 and Fateh-110, that can "hit targets in Tel Aviv", to echo Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Kharrazi.
     There are several advantages to a ballistic arsenal as far as Iran is concerned: first, it is relatively cheap and manufactured domestically without much external dependency and the related pressure of "missile export control" exerted by the US. Second, the missiles are mobile and can be concealed from the enemy, and third, there are advantages to fighter jets requiring fixed air bases. Fourth, missiles are presumed effective weapons that can be launched without much advance notice by the recipient targets, particularly the "solid fuel" Fatah-110 missiles that require only a few short minutes for installation prior to being fired. Fifth, missiles are weapons of confusion and a unique strike capability that can torpedo the best military plans...
     Another key element of Iran's strategy is to "increase the arch of crisis" in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq, where it has considerable influence, to undermine the United States' foothold in the region, hoping to create a counter-domino effect wherein instead of gaining inside Iran, the US would actually lose territory partly as a result of thinning its forces and military "overstretch".
     Iran's counter-psychological warfare, on the other hand, seeks to take advantage of the "death-fearing" American soldiers who typically lack a strong motivation to fight wars not necessarily in defense of the homeland. A war with Iran would definitely require establishing the draft in the US, without which it could not possibly protect its flanks in Afghanistan and Iraq; imposing the draft would mean enlisting many dissatisfied young soldiers amenable to be influenced by Iran's own psychological warfare focusing on the lack of motivation and "cognitive dissonance" of soldiers ill-doctrinated to President George W Bush's "doctrine of preemption", not to mention a proxy war for the sake of Israel.

     .... Thus there is an emerging "proto-nuclear deterrence" according to which Iran's mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle would make it "nuclear weapon capable" in a relatively short time, as a sort of pre-weapon "threshold capability" that must be taken into account by Iran's enemies contemplating attacks on its nuclear installations.
Nov 2004:  World Nuclear War Comments at Woodrow Wilson Center Iran Conference     
     Audience question on nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran...
     Response from Henry Sokolski, Executive Director, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center:
We have to think about something besides nuclear response: closing the straights, make sure they don't get oil money.  So we must a) prevent and b) not respond in worse way.  Biggest fear should be a nuclear 1914 where nuclear use begets nuclear use and we see major cities snuffed out.  If you ever go to Great Britain visit Bath and the Roman Baths, the only thing missing is automobiles.  It was an incredibly advanced civilization. But it went away. That is possible.
Nov 2004: Bush Approved Israel Nuking Iraq B4 US Invasion 
Sharon's blunt admission that a retaliatory strike would be ordered in the event of an attack on Israel with non-conventional weapons came after discussions with US President George W Bush. Israeli officials later interpreted the president's stance as giving the green-light to Sharon to attack Baghdad only if Iraq launched a pre-emptive strike against the Jewish State before an American military campaign had got underway.

Nov 2004: U.S. had plan to nuke N. Korea
Newly declassified documents revealed the United States planned as recently as 1998 to drop nuclear bombs on North Korea if the country attacked South Korea.The declassified documents also said the U.S. had kept nuclear weaponry in South Korea until at least 1998, despite officially claiming it had withdrawn all nuclear warheads in 1991.

Feb 2005: Strike Iran and Risk Huge Backlash, Blix Warns US
    Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix - "I think the restraining element in this must be that the United States must know if they launch an attack, there could be [a nuclear] retaliation," said Blix "There is uncertainty. They [the U.S.] may not know that the Iranians might be hiding some [nuclear weapons] prototype somewhere. They [the Iranians] have the designs and they have the technology..."

Hiroshima victim
Apr 2005: On To Iran? (How to Make a New Pearl Harbor)
Neocons would love for Iran to commit a dastardly surprise attack.  It has been suggested that Iran's response to a major bombing attack would be immediate retaliation by firing missiles at US bases and ships in the Persian Gulf.   It would be easy for the USA to shut off telecommunications to Iran to prevent word of secret bombings to leak out until Iranian missiles responded.  The problem is how to keep this secret.  One option is to allow the Israelis to launch secret nighttime bombing strikes. Only a few US Generals would need to know and issue orders to ground US aircraft overnight for a "safety stand-down" and shut down radars for "repair."  Another option is to strike with a dozen stealthy B-2s bombers from their base in Missouri.  A more complex plan would penetrate Iran's military command and control system electronically, and send false messages that American bombers had hit targets so Iranian missiles should be launched.     American GIs in the region would be surprised by a sudden Iranian missile attack and will attest that it was unprovoked.  There would be many GI casualties and perhaps a Navy ship sunk, but Roosevelt sacrificed 2000 GIs at Pearl Harbor for his cause.

ECONOMIC BACKLASH
Feb 2005: Be very afraid if Bush takes the war on terror to Iran
  ...the surge in oil prices and flight from risk might be greater than
during the Iraq conflict. Iran is a much bigger oil producer than Iraq, the US is starting from a stretched military and budgetary position, and an invasion would increase the risk of a more serious breach in relations not just with countries in the Middle East but with other erstwhile allies.
     The damage to international relations might have a more direct impact on the markets by reducing the willingness of investors to hold US assets. This  would compound the downward pressure on the dollar, while offsetting the "safe haven" buying of US Treasury bonds. That said, for most central banks, the priority would probably be to avert a calamitous surge in their currencies. In particular, in its efforts to curb the euro's strength, the European Central Bank might find itself mopping up dollars offloaded by others.
    Even if the military victory were swift, the experience of Iraq would make the markets sceptical of the US ability to "win the peace". Thus the victory rally, the upward leg of the V-shaped pattern the markets traced out for the Iraq war, might be rather more tentative in the case of Iran. The damage this would cause to global confidence, among businesses and consumers, would trigger a severe economic slowdown.
    Such thoughts might be seen as a serious deterrent to any US plans to launch an attack on Iran in the first place. But it must be remembered that the Bush administration is not viewing its agenda through an economic prism. As one official, asked about the mounting costs of the war in Iraq, put it: they pale "compared with the costs that the terrorists would like to inflict on us".
    [NOTE: Of course, it's something like an attack on Iran that would be most likely to MOTIVATE such an attack.]

Feb 2005: Strike against Iran will have huge political costs
    According to a short study by George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace... “Iran would consider itself free from all restraints to develop nuclear weapons, and much of the developing world would endorse this view. The treaty-based non-proliferation regime would crumble. Other states - perhaps Egypt and Saudi Arabia – could then withdraw from the treaty with few repercussions and legally hedge their nuclear bets. This would leave Israel and the United States with the prospect of having to contemplate military action against still more Islamic states, and with a major rise in terrorism as a form of asymmetrical resistance to what would be perceived as US and/or Israeli aggression.”
March 2005: Iran threat: Attack by West risks all 'Middle East oil'
Teheran could easily block the Straits of Hormuz and use its missiles to strike tankers and GCC oil facilities, according to the new edition of Geostrategy-Direct.com. Within weeks, the rest of the world would be starving for oil and the global economy could be in danger.
Apr 2005: An Economy On Thin Ice by Paul A. Volcker At some point, the sense of confidence in capital markets that today so benignly supports the flow of funds to the United States and the growing world economy could fade. Then some event, or combination of events, could come along to disturb markets, with damaging volatility in both exchange markets and interest rates. We had a taste of that in the stagflation of the 1970s -- a volatile and depressed dollar, inflationary pressures, a sudden increase in interest rates and a couple of big recessions.
US. Debt Clock - National debt (low figure) and per individual, with articles