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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Iran: state-sponsored terror update

Though I have not seen a followup to the various speculative media reports from last month -- perhaps it was a trial balloon? -- Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is apparently being officially designated as terror organization. As the Washington Post explained in August, the elite 125,000-member force will be the
"first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government."
Former CIA officer Robert Baer wrote about the possible implications in Time, August 18:
it's either more bluster or, ominously, a wind-up for a strike on Iran. Officials I talk to in Washington vote for a hit on the IRGC, maybe within the next six months. And they think that as long as we have bombers and missiles in the air, we will hit Iran's nuclear facilities. An awe and shock campaign, lite, if you will. But frankly they're guessing; after Iraq the White House trusts no one, especially the bureaucracy.
Here's the "regime change" logic likely to underpin any future attack on the Guard units:
there's a belief among neo-cons that the IRGC is the one obstacle to a democratic and friendly Iran. They believe that if we were to get rid of the IRGC, the clerics would fall, and our thirty-years war with Iran over. It's another neo-con delusion, but still it informs White House thinking.
Reactions? Here's an old one from Bloomberg:
Subir Raha, the government-appointed head of India's biggest oil company, said the U.S. would be ``stupid'' to attack Iran and risk imposing record oil prices on the global economy.
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern calls an attack on Iran "insane."

It has now been two and a half years since President George W. Bush himself declared that the idea of US preparations to attack Iran was "simply ridiculous."

Of course, even then, he said "all options are on the table."

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