There is a phrase I initially heard on an episode of Star Trek (decades ago), the phrase goes “Do I detect a streak of yellow across the good fellows back?“, it was Dwight Schultz (aka Howling Mad Murdoch) as Reginald Barclay in an episode where he pretends to be Cyrano de Bergerac in the episode Hollow Pursuits, and weirdly enough, it all seems to fit, I know that it is just crazy coincidence, but that is just what it is, coincidence (and crazy to boot).
So when we see (in the Guardian at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/01/eu-powers-resist-calls-for-iran-sanctions-after-breach-of-nuclear-deal) the quote: ““Today I call on all of the European countries: stick to your commitment,” he said. “You committed to act as soon as Iran violates the nuclear deal; you committed to activate the mechanism of automatic sanctions that were determined by the Security Council. So I’m telling you: do it. Just do it.”” yet it seems that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is talking to a room full of deaf people, it is exactly as the headline states: ‘EU powers resist calls for Iran sanctions after breach of nuclear deal‘, you see, no matter how it falls, the initial target is not Europe, it will be Israel or Saudi Arabia, I reckon that it is 4 to 1, 80% chance Israel cops it first and only a 20% chance that Saudi Arabia does. In those odds, Europe does not have any risk and playing the waiting game and merely act out to some degree if one of the two is hit will be fine by them, it is the usual response from those graced with the constitution of a weasel. Even as we see the hollow ‘Focus is on averting further breaches and UK says it remains committed to 2015 deal‘, they merely prefer there not be any additional breaches. They ignore the fact that Iran could have temporarily halting production, they ignore that the reporting moment does not coincide with the moment Iran officially transgressed that line, they ignore that there is credible intelligence (OK, more wild rumours) that there is more than one additional unmarked enrichment site, that is all ignored, merely they prefer not to see additional breaches. When there is no skin in the game, when the economy has no real suffrage, the inaction game can be played, no matter who gets hurt.
What they fail to see is that no matter who gets hit, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have no options but to strike Iran, perhaps that is why all the arms deals were stopped? One could argue that the quote: “European leaders had urged Iran not to breach the deal, but the focus may now be on dissuading Iran from taking further, more serious steps away from the terms“, it could optionally be seen as a soft approach towards containing the fallout, quite literally so, and yet there is a first. It will be the first time when Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel as well as the true allies both have the stage where they all unite in a single need, the destruction of Iran, part of me hopes that this happens, it will be the first signal towards the EU to clean their house, it will be the first time that this union will bring fear to the heart of Turkey, they bet the wrong horse and now they become a target right next to Lebanon and Hezbollah.
Whatever proxy path was optionally in play will now fall away because no nation has ever faced the wrath of both Israel and Saudi Arabia at the same time. Those who played games in that fashion have no place to run to, they have no borders to hide behind, whatever small options these players have, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Egypt and whatever sympathisers are out there in these nations, facing the wrath of both sides of borders is not a game they signed up for, as such the escalation will be swift and very violent. At that point it will be the first move of Iran to ‘suddenly’ give way to emergency meetings and sit down for some agreement, at that point the EU better sit on the side and not interfere, at that point the race will overtake manners and devour Iran. It is at that point that people like Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani will make some hopeful statement on errors made within the rank and press for a diplomatic deal and some peace conference, but it will be too late, we should not hear of it and those so called European leaders who resisted calls better get out of the way at that point, they missed the option, they scathed their duty and the should remain silent, run and become a barber or an uber driver, it is basically all they have left.
I would prefer to avoid all these complications, but the inactions of those relying on gravy trains and non-commitment have burned their own boats and their own bridges, Iran will not learn one way, so they will have to learn another way. It took me a few hours to design an optional solution to cripple their navy, I feel certain that I could take a look at their air force and airfields and give some additional fun (solving puzzles is actually a lot of fun).
And it goes beyond that, even as we see: ‘Israel preparing for possible military clash between US and Iran‘, it is more likely than not that US will halt its stance before the military clash happens, it will run to the border with all might, but not commit to an armed exchange, it will however not stand in the way of Israel and Saudi Arabia when they do strike, this differs them from the EU, the EU will do whatever they can to force any negotiation, even after a first strike by Iran, optionally via Hezbollah or Houthi forces and that makes this game a lot more dangerous this time around. As no one was able to stop Iran arming the other two, we are in the dark on how much was delivered and how these two will strike. Houthi forces will strike Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah will strike both Israel and Saudi Arabia, yet Hezbollah will more likely than not hide behind Houthi outfits, the rest is still open. As CNN reported hours ago, “Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack Tuesday on Abha International Airport, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels confirmed the drone attack and said it believed Tehran was involved in the operation“, the problem is not merely the attack on the airports, it seems that Houthi (or its Hezbollah/Iranian operators) are getting more adapt at their actions implying that the targets might change soon enough, the fact that Iran is out of options also implies that they need Houthi forces to hit Saudi Arabia harder and that is more likely than not going to happen. Until the shipments stop Saudi Arabia is facing a battle on 2-3 fronts, a third front will happen if Hezbollah openly commits towards Iran and the Al Qurayyat region. There is no intelligence to prove that, but tactically Hezbollah could use that stage to also increase pressures on Jordan and Saudi Arabia at the same time; I cannot help but wonder on how far this could escalate and I cannot stop but wonder how the ignorant inactive politicians in Europe let it come to this. They all knew what was at stake; they all left it to some proclaimed expectation of ‘US actions’ who in their current state could not even afford to go to war with the 17th century VOC (and a 17th century technology navy), their state is pretty bad. Even if they score immediate hits on Iran, it will escalate and until they get direct fire support from both Saudi Arabia and Israel, this could escalate out of proportions giving rise to serious damage to Jordan, Bahrain, and the UAE to boot. Iran will avoid pushing Qatar, but there is no guarantee that they avoid damage. It is a mess that could soon become uncontrollable; the inactions of Europe push for that scenario more and more.
I personally believe that it will come to blows within the next few weeks. I would be extremely happy if it could be avoided, yet as the present stage is, I am uncertain as to how it can be avoided, the best chance would be a first strike on Iran and see if Iran realises that they pissed off too many sides at the same time, but that is not a given. They might not have any chance to win, but they can still do loads of damage to several players and there is no denying that the IRGC is ready for battle, making a quick victory over Iran extremely unlikely, or perhaps it might be more correct to state that a quick victory is only possible through a severe impact on all fighting sides, a cornered party will do weird jumps and that has been a truth in life and nature like forever, so the entire situation is not out of reach and let’s not forget, Iran had the option to create a stage by temporary halt enrichment and they decided not to do that. As such the escalation has clearly be on their side and no matter how the stage with America was, by surpassing enrichment amounts they have clearly given the indication that they care not for the accords and they are calling the bluff of the EU and America to escalate issues further whilst ignoring the danger that either Israel or Saudi Arabia is, as such they only have themselves to blame when the damage in Iran takes on a much larger proportion than they anticipated, the question then becomes will the attacking nations stop, or will they to prevent Iranian attacks continue until Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani and their inner circles are completely removed from power. We might think that this is the best outcome, but it is not. The devil you know beats the devil you do not and in Iran there will always be another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waiting to take the highest seat of Iranian office.
One would have hoped that the yellowback politician was an extinct breed, but that is not the case and I fear that their damage will be visible for decades to come, no matter where that damage is.