Iran - US war: A clash of imaginations
alarabiya / Amir Taheri

The way a war is waged, and to some extent its outcome, may depend on how adversaries imagine it before it starts.

As tension rises between the Islamic Republic and potential adversaries,led by the United States, how do both sides imagine a war that we must hope would not happen?

In Tehran, the virtual exclusion of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from decision-making means that, for the first time since 1989, the Islamic Republic is under a single command symbolized by “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei, who now likes to call himself “Imam”, may well be a puppet of the military-security apparatus. But what matters for this discussion is that the time when different voices could be heard within the establishment has ended. The presidency has been reduced to an embarrassment and the Majlis, the supposed legislature, has turned into a club of adulation for “the Imam.” Khamenei and his entourage believe that war with US is inevitable.

But how do they imagine that war?

In a speech last month, Khamenei hinted that Tehran was preparing to
abandon its 32-year old low intensity war against the US in favour of a
high-intensity strategy.

“We are not the type to sit back
and watch as powers made of straw, and rotten to the heart, threaten our
steadfast and steel-like nation,” he said. “Faced with aggression, we
know how to be offensive.”

Four days later, the Deputy Commander of the ... >>>

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