Tanter, who served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, wrote an op-ed about the Regime’s recent attack on Saudi oil installations, citing evidence from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) that the attack was carried out  by the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and approved by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

The NCRI reported that top IRGC commanders from the aerospace forces were deployed from Tehran to Omydieh base in Khuzestan province to command the operation. NCRI official Alireza Jafarzadeh said the attack was overseen by IRGC Major General Gholamali Rashid, who reports directly to Khamenei.

Tanter wrote: “There is mounting evidence that the resistance group is correct, US Government officials said privately about the NCRI press conference on the Iranian attack on the Saudi oil installations… The information provided by the NCRI is significant because it indicates Tehran is willing to take serious risks to threaten the countries in the region and the free flow of oil in the Persian Gulf, as a means to extract concessions from the United States and western nations.”

There is a big risk that the Regime’s behavior in the Persian Gulf region could trigger a military response from the West and cause another war in the Middle East.

Of course, Khamenei seems confident that the US will not start a war and that, instead, oil sanctions will be lifted in order to avoid Iran’s terrorism and destabilizing activities. That’s a central part of Iran’s foreign policy. It’s why Foreign Minister Javad Zarif feels confident that he can boast about close ties with IRGC Qods Force commander and notorious terrorist Qassem Soleimani.

Tanter wrote: “The information [from the NCRI] also demonstrates that in light of internal crisis resulting from systemic corruption engulfing the regime like cancer, widespread discontent of the population because of poverty and inflation, strikes by workers and other sectors of the society, and continued protests in Iran, Tehran has found no other way but to escalate regional aggression. Such aggressive behavior, if not confronted with decisiveness and power, would boost the morale of the IRGC commanders, and further emboldens the regime.”