This will enable Iran to build a nuclear bomb much sooner than anyone could have predicted, but it will also encourage other countries in the Middle East to start their own nuclear programmes, leading to an atomic arms race.
Of course, it’s not just regional powers that are concerned about a nuclear Iran. The US, Europe, Russia, and China (all signatories to the Iran deal) are also worried about this and must act to discourage Iran. If they are unable to convince Iran to give up their nuclear ambitions, then their only option may be a guided missile strike that would destroy Iran’s reactors.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has threatened that those who attack Iran will be hit back ten times harder, but they certainly don’t have the technology or weapons to do that. Iran only has ballistic missiles, made with outdated technology from North Korea. The missiles are primitive, weak, and easily destroyed by anti-missile aircraft. For proof, just look at the 120+ missiles that the Iran-backed Houthis fired at Saudi Arabia. All of them were destroyed in the air before reaching their targets.
Iran is well aware that their missiles (and all military tech) is outdated when compared with the US, Israel, or Saudi Arabia, but the mullahs have a long history of pushing crises to the brink before backing down at the last minute.
Whereas, US sanctions against Iran are likely to paralyse the economy and cause a recession, which will limit the amount that the Regime can spend on their military and allow the Iranian people to revolt and overthrow the mullahs. The Iranian people are desperate for regime change, as evidenced by their uprising, and wish to remove the Regime.
So could Khamenei be trying to rally Iranians against the West by goading a missile strike from them?
Mohammed Al Shaikh, a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper, wrote: “I think this is one of the reasons that made Khamenei escalate the confrontation. It is as if he is speeding up the US strike which would enable him to stay for a longer period. However, if he submits to pressure and complies, he will face a massive famine revolution which he will not be capable of suppressing no matter how much he kills people and governs with an iron fist. Will Khamenei’s old “new” approach succeed this time? Frankly I think it’s unlikely.”
Regime change will be the major talking point for the Free Iran gathering in Paris on June 30.