Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deployment Hype

By Paul Iddon

The Iranian vow to deploy naval units off US shores should be ignored rather than dignified.

While discussing the deployment of additional US Navy forces to the Persian Gulf some time ago a friend of mine quipped, “imagine the media hype if say the Iranian Navy decided to deploy its warships off the San Francisco bay area!” Retrospectively he had a point, which is why I found the recent vow by Iran to send naval units to form a “powerful presence” in the Gulf of Mexico to be particularly intriguing, yet not consistent with the material and logistical realities within the Iranian Navy.

This CNN report does a good job in debunking the proselytizing hype prominent in certain reactionary circles in the US that warn of the “imminent danger” this deployment will pose to the United States. Take this article from Front Page Mag which is the epitome of the said hype (and among other things opts for a CGI rendition of a warship rather than an actual photograph of an Iranian navy ship) as it inextricably ties in this current development with other instances of the Islamic Republic “aggressively building a presence in the Western Hemisphere”, examples cited are Hezbollah setting up operations in Cuba (in light of the fact that Castro endorsed the Russian Orthodox church three years ago I wouldn't be surprised to see him now following up his new found religious indulgences by welcoming in the 'Party of God') and other Iranian proxy forces collaborating with Mexican drug lords. As well as alluding to the fact Iranian missiles may be placed in Venezuela and that there may even be the potentiality of Iranian proxy forces being capable of launching a crippling EMP strike on North America. (The whole imminent 'ticking clock' danger hysteria reminds one of an episode of 24 or a Tom Clancy plot line rather than the present geopolitical realities on the ground.)

Following these pronouncements we heard of a serious allegation made by the Obama administration that the Quds Force were complicit in a plot to assassinate a Saudi envoy on US soil in collaboration with Mexican drugs gangs. Whilst this allegation has been seriously questioned with regards to the nature of the operation one finds it difficult to give the Iranian regime any benefit of the doubt when one does reconsider the regimes past complicity in the murders of Kurdish exiles in Germany and Israeli diplomats and Argentine civilians in Argentina in the early 1990's.

More reactionary circles across the American political spectrum pronounced that this alleged plot constituted the casus belli for war with Iran. One does not think it would be wise to respond with dangerous sabre rattling, but rather to treat this as a criminal investigation with the intent of prosecuting the conspirators to such an act of terrorism on US soil. Only when the full extent of the plot in question is revealed would be the right time to reach the most obvious conclusions and respond accordingly and decisively.

Also one doesn't think it wise to make a lot of noise about Iran forging alliances with other countries. In particular this perceived Caracas-Tehran axis is in general much too over hyped, as is Hugo Chavez overly demonized. On one hand he has been hailed and praised by many for his work in redistributing substantial amounts of Venezuela's oil wealth to the poor of the country. On the other hand his rabid opposition to his conspiratorial perception of American imperialism has evidently garnered him with some questionable bed fellows. Even though Venezuela has bought a substantial amount of hi-tech military hardware from Russia it doesn't exactly pose any military threat to the United States. The reason it is vilified is because under Chavez Venezuela has given US corporate interests in the region a major headache.

Furthermore one sincerely doubts we will ever be seeing anything like a Venezuelan Missile Crisis (as was implied in that article), let alone seeing one any time soon. However we will probably see Mr. Chavez forging diplomatic alliances with some questionable “opponents” of US imperialism, and continuing to adopt a policy which I will dub the 'Chavez doctrine', that being a doctrine of aligning Venezuela with other states led in most cases by autocrats and dictators that are actively pitting themselves against western (predominately American) influence, and in some cases the spread of democracy. This doctrine has seen Chavez recently opting to be a mediator between Colonel Gaddafi and the rebels (even though he personally favoured Gaddafi) as well as ingratiating himself with the present regime in Tehran.

These Iranian statements (the said vow to deploy naval deployment to the Gulf of Mexico) and (in the case of the US allegation of the conspiratorial Iranian assassination plot) actions clearly show that the Islamic regime pursues achieving the status of an international power. One which seems to crave the ability to project power far beyond its borders in a manner similar to its perception of a loathsome US superpower.

Personally I don't have any qualms with the Iranian leadership sending frigates to bob around in the North Atlantic. Even if such an operation does manifest it will more than likely be nothing more than a rather meaningless and futile gesture of power projection. I felt the same about the hysteria a few months ago with regards to Iranian warships steaming through the Suez Canal for the first time since the revolution. Even if they were to do something over the top like attempt some kind of an assault on the Israeli coastline they would most likely share a similar fate to that of the Sahand in the Iran Iraq War or of the Egyptian Ibrahim el Awal in the Suez Crisis.

Dignifying and trying to instil fear over such actions by the Iranian regime plays into their hands and is in my opinion very counterproductive. As it focuses all attention on over emphasizing the actuality of the threat that Iran poses and in turn over shadows the internal struggle of the various Iranian democrats which in turn plays into the ever more dangerous 'us' verses 'them' mentality that demonizes the majority of countries population and in turn gives the present leadership the aura of representing the country as a whole.

So to conclude, it is my firm held opinion and belief that this deployment vow should be seen as nothing more than a lame attempt by the festering regime in Tehran to divert attention away from its heinous treatment of the people it presides over as well as its consistent and persistent squandering of the countries international status to that of an untrustworthy and capricious pariah state.

Edit: Three instances of the word 'pledge' have been subsequently replaced with 'vow'.

Editor’s Note: Paul Iddon is one of the authors of Uskowi on Iran. His weekly column 'Broadened Vistas' appears here on Wednesdays.


Anonymous said...

Please save us from the laughter.

Redz said...

the reason gor your columns give me doubts about uskowi blog,

your entire article is based false presumption no doubt based on your own prejudice

the whole idea of deployment to US shores comes from a iranian general who gave a rethorical statement saying if the US has its navy deployed iran should have the right to deploy its navy near US shores there was no "pledge"

Paul Iddon said...


Thank you for your comment.

In retrospect you have a point, 'vow' would have been a much more suitable word than 'pledge'

Would you mind elaborating on what I am presuming and what prejudices I am basing these said presumptions on?

If anything the column is more about the false pretenses that have been present in certain media and political groups in the west with regard to Mr. Sayari statements.

Anonymous said...

What ships has Iran to send?
Do they have a dozen blue-water surface warships?

Anonymous said...

Iran may want to keeps its superpower navy at sea. When the strike comes one of the first things to happen will be air dropped mines, then Irans navy will be staying in port.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to military capability Iran is the joker in the pack.
It always makes me laugh when I read about the clowning antics from Tehran.

Redz said...

if thats true then you should titled the article differently and written about the western media and its role as propaganda for war due its political masters but you stay clear of that other then a it is counterprductive to western aims, simply the role of frontpage magazine as a Neo-con and zionist owned magazine would answer the question(no conspiracey lol ofcourse to you anytime the word zionist is used it must be since you see that as propaganda by the regime)

instead you try to legitimise the so-called plot with some straw men arguments from 1990s which by now anybody with sense except someone who blindly hates the iranian independence would consider as something iran had a hand in

then you focus that this is some great attempt of internal propaganda because it wasnt news in iran or wasnt used like that

ive read meny of your coulmns it would be foolish for anyone not see ur politics that forces to put out a lot of garabage about iran that ive read better from isreali anlysts about iran then you have u read meir javandafar he does a better job of hating iran and muslims and anylysing at the same time with more accuracey

ps: vow isnt accurate either

"persistent squandering of the countries international status to that of an untrustworthy and capricious pariah state."

yes iran did that but saudi hasnt because its run by good and selfless democrats

prejudice or agenda you decide

Paul Iddon said...


Thank you for taking time to respond.

The title is a reference to the hype and hysteria from publications like Front Page Magazine (one of the so called neo-con and Zionist owned magazines you're referring to which I in the article did my utmost to debunk).

And if you care to read it again you'll see I denounce the idea that responding to this assassination plot without ample evidence (the US doesn't even have a sufficient amount in my opinion) isn't the right course of action to take. I've further noted that to say something like this constitutes a 'casus beli' for a war with Iran is extremely unwise, and that it should be investigated to the full extent of the law as a criminal investigation. Hence evidence will be needed to pursue these supposed perpetrators. But please, if you want to paint me as a neo-con Zionist whom is seething at the mouth for war you'd be better off ignoring statements and stances like those.

"then you focus that this is some great attempt of internal propaganda because it wasnt news in iran or wasnt used like that"

I'm sorry I don't understand the grammar of that statement.

No, I'm not familiar with the works of Meir Javandafar. Are you giving an endorsement of him?

I dunno where you get off saying I hate Iran and Muslims, I have plenty of Iranian friends as well as Muslim friends, and I don't think writing about the various examples of thuggery and abuse they have to put up with on a day to day basis at the hands of these gangsters conflicts me of hatred for Iran and Muslims. This regime is doing a helluva job of running their country into the ground and (in the case of Ahmadinejad) have acquired an incessant habit of making a show of them (in their name) by claiming to represent them when he says things on their behalf, like that the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy (which even made Al Qaeda cringe) and that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

You've said you've read my previous works, I'm sorry if you've missed but I have pointed out before that I think Saudi Arabia is no beacon of democracy for the Iranians to emulate and that the official US policy should be one of encouraging democratic reforms in the Emirate countries. I don't think I said this out of prejudice, agenda maybe, I'm with JFK when he said that mankind is our business.

So yes I have an agenda and that is it, but let that be our little secret!

Anonymous said...

Paul keep up the good work and don't give a damn what these little mullah boys say because at the end of the day the truth hurts.
The regime is full of empty hot air and their strength only is strong enough to oppress the women and children of Iran.
As for the Iranian navy it hasn't enough ships to defend its own waters let alone sending them half way across the globe to challenge a world super power with their rusty old ships ready for the scrap yard.

Unknown said...

In Iran they call this "gonde goozi". The Iranian navy is still working t970s British made ships or domestic copies of the same.
They might as well rent a cruise ship to cruise the US waters, it would be safer for the poor sailers.

Redz said...


im sorry for my grammer im dyslexic but i think u can understand my writing and it is readable im just saying your claim this is a regime propaganda rediclous about navy deployment since it wasnt used that way or wasnt news in iran yto that extent

i dont know if your motivated by because your a zionist neocon or just ignorant liberal but either way you show yourself to be someone with an agenda that is not good for the people of iran

i dont apologise for the strong language since your reality of what u think of irans achievements is so ignorant it realy makes mockery of your honest anlysis claim

"I don't think writing about the various examples of thuggery and abuse they have to put up with on a day to day basis at the hands of these gangsters"

yes realy the iranian police are thugs but countries allied to the west or western actions are just police corruption down to a few people, having a police force that is tied to islamic mores has no advatage whatsoever to police forces in the west i geuss in any capacity
irans internal security forces and their operations in regard to the riots, sattalite dishes and arrest or even the claimed abuse of dissidents does not warrent them to anything to the level that you see them because in your anylysis its black or white since iran nevr carries out investigations of internal corruption

the fact that you praise the west and escuse them and a go long way to assume about the intentions of irans government while ignoring complex dynamics is why im saying your ideas are ignoant what ever politics of your alternative to current syastem is bad for iran for that i point to a simple idea that you have nevr tuched on refuse to except if i take the logic of your columns

you cant recognise the very simple fact that iran is pariah because its trying to be a regional power with a degree of independent foreign policey a one that doesnt allie or tacitly except isreals dominance US dominence in the region in supporting corrupt regimes or making them corrupt for their own interest other the people, its a parih because it has its own nuclear program and development ploicey,

if iran gave up its nuclear program and recognised isreal it would become a US ally tommrow thats a simple fact that someone like you ignores thats why i accuse you of having an agenda when your argument is the regime is squandaring the country

your liberal alternative if it is even liberal since someone with this level of ignorance of complex reality who uses agressive liberal ideology but with alterior motives is a lot worse like the Neo-cons then somebody who is straight up

you can be a HONEST liberal and ill stil disagree with your politics im simply saying your not one either because your opinions do not take a balance account and you have a biased agressive agenda

Anonymous said...


You love the Islamic system so much why don't you go and live in Iran and practice your liberty there and see how far that gets you. So stop being a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...


Pal there is nothing wrong in being friends with the US.
Don't be so brainwashed by the mullahs because they benefit on ignorance and are akin to blood sucking parasites who live off the body of the victim namely Iran.

So Redz give it a thought for once and think for yourself instead of aping the mullahs stupidity it will do you a world of good knowing your independence of thought.

Anonymous said...

If you want anyone to read your stuff Paul /Parviz or whatever your real name is.

Use a different name.

I saw your name and just came in to irritate you knowing you are biased to the anus

Important is you read it and I know you wont publish.

Paul Iddon said...


I don't agree with your contention (aside from alluding that I am both a neo-con and a Zionist) that I'm an ignorant liberal.

I have to concede I do have an agenda, and that is one of solidarity to various Iranians, like the brave and tireless Iranian women who are struggling for equal rights and emancipation (from your closing comments I'd contend these things may be too 'liberal' for you). If you think that isn't good for Iran and her people, well what can I tell you?

I wasn't alluding to the Iranian police, I was alluding to the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij who have inflicted unquestionable acts of both thuggery and abuse, instead of using strong language in your rather unlettered critique of me maybe you should try and factually disprove this salient fact rather than excuse it.

I don't recall excusing or praising the west, in fact I recall saying that the US should apologize to the Iranian people for the downing of Iran Air Flight 655, and I've contended (the week after saying that) that the 1953 coup against Mossadeq was an imperial crime but should be put into context to the situation today instead of being continually used as an excuse by the leadership for all the domestic woes of the country that is a result of their corruption and irresponsibility.

I also don't believe I endorsed any US policy of supporting corrupt regimes for their interests rather than the interest of the people in these states you are referring to. You seem to think that anything will do!

And furthermore, the President of the United States saying that he welcomes not only Iran, but the "Islamic Republic" back into the family of nations doesn't exactly support your contention that Iran needs to give up its nuclear program (indeed if it was for purely civil purposes I think Iran should be offered assistance) and recognize Israel to forge a meaningful relationship with the US.

And whatever your opinion of Israel is, I would hope that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (whatever degree of brutality that you conceive it to be) does not in your world view make it ok for the abolition of human rights and dignity in Iran and other countries.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write your comment.

@Anon 11:43

Why would I use any other name but my own?

I have no intention of cowering under a second identity.

Although I think Parviz is a nice name, and I like its meaning, so I take your comment as one of endearment, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Those here that are laughing at Iran's military capabilities, I can assure you that from everything that I have read pentagon or the Israeli military doesn't think the Iranian military is a joke. They are very concerned about Iranian military's asymmetric respond in case of an attack. The Iranian military planners haven't sat there for past 10 years or so and do nothing , they have watched and learned from wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. And I'm sure they have made the right toys to bring into the game as necessary. I'm not saying they will win the war but I'm sure they can fight to a standstill.

Anonymous said...

I doubt America has sat around and not studied Iran's military capabilities.
Most of Iran's equipment is nearly forty years old and is of US origin and no amount of upgrading will be able it to mach the latest US equipment.
Iran also has some old Soviet equipment like T55 and T72 tanks which are no mach against M1 Abrams or Challenger tank.
As for its airforce it's no competition.What remains is its missile force and that to is mostly Scud based with a few remaining latest generation (for Iran anyway)Iranian made missiles which are no comparison to US land based and most importantly submarine based ballistic and cruise missiles.
The country is surrounded on all sides by the US and the Americans can pick any side of Iran to attack the countries forces with impunity with mostly submarine based ballistic and cruise missiles as well as stealth and carrier based fighter planes.
There is no doubt the US will have total air superiority despite Iran's ground based air defence force with their limited radar coverage of it's vast area.
The odds are against Iran's military no matter what anybody says including the present leadership in Iran.

Anonymous said...

Last comment made by the anonymous at 7:32 pm , let me assure you Americans can do well without kiss asses, brown-noser like you, I'm sure you're not American , most likely you're a Israeli propgendaist sitting in tel aviv . Just the same , what I said in comment number 16 still stands. Let me repeat it, since it didn't sink in your thick skull, and if you want to comment more just stick to this one statement that I'm making. Iran can and will fight to a standstill in any war with the west, period. There is no other way about it, war planners far, far, far smarter then you have already said. Period. If you don't believe me just look at what a bunch of backward, ragtag villagers wearing sandals have done to USA in afganistan. You really are stupid enough to think Iran can't do a 1000 times more to USA? Then please stop your nonsense bullshit.

Anonymous said...

"You really are stupid enough to think Iran can't do 1000 times more to USA?"

Thicko read this and absorb it into your porous head.
Afghanistan had nothing to destroy just mud houses and mountains and that was destroyed by the Russians.
Iran has plenty of infrastructure to destroy and has no effective way to stop America from doing it.
Iran with its primitive air force and scuds and a few newer missiles with some boats wont be able to stop the US with their submarines which could be moored up in US docks and fire their missiles from there whilst American crew are drinking coffee with cookies while IRGC bases are being blown to bits.
So dream on in your pathetic fantasies that Iran can stop the US at a stand still.
You need to visit a shrink.