[DEBKA file's] Washington sources report that president George W. Bush is closer than ever before to ordering a limited missile-air bombardment of the IRGC-al Qods Brigade’s installations in Iran. It is planned to target training camps and the munitions factories pumping fighters, missiles and roadside bombs to the Iraqi insurgency, Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. Iran is geared up for counteraction. US intelligence estimates that Tehran’s counteraction will likewise be on a limited scale and therefore any US-Iranian military encounter will not be allowed to explode into a major confrontation. Because this US assault is not planned to extend to Iran’s nuclear installations, Tehran is not expected to hit back at distant American targets in the Persian Gulf or at Israel.
DEBKA file’s Iranian sources report, however, that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington. Tehran would view a US attack on the IRGC bases as a casus belli and might react in ways and on a scale unanticipated in Washington. Two days ago, Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar warned: “Iran’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to counter any military attack with any intensity and to make the enemy regret initiating any such incursions.”
According to DEBKA file’s Iranian and military sources, the IRGC had by mid-May completed their preparations for a US missile, air or commando assault on their command centers and bases in reprisal for Iranian intervention in Iraq. These preparations encompass al Qods’ arms, most of them undercover, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan. At home, the Revolutionary Guards have evacuated their key bases together with manpower and equipment to regular army sites or temporary quarters in villages located in remote corners of eastern and northern Iran. Their main headquarters and central training center at the Imam Ali University in northern Tehran are deserted except for sentries on the gates. Indoctrination seminaries and dormitories hosting fighting strength in the holy town of Qom are empty, as is the Manzariyah training center east of the capital. Deserted too is the main training camp near Isfahan for insurgents and terrorists from Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It is here that they take courses from friendly al Qods training staff on how to sabotage strategic targets such as routes, bridges and military installations, and the activation of the extra-powerful roadside bombs (EFPs) which have had such a deadly effect on American troops in Iraq.
If true, Iranian preparations outlined in this report are significant. The Iranians appear ready for an armed confrontation with the United States. This may even be politically motivated. The Israeli report is probably correct to point out "that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington".