A mysterious explosion in a suburb of Teheran that killed 15 people last Saturday was likely an attack on a Iranian military convoy carrying arms to Hizbullah, the Telegraph reported Friday…
Last Saturday’s incident was the latest in a series of mysterious explosions in the Islamic republic.
In May, Iran blamed British and US agents for an explosion at a mosque in Shiraz that had just been the site of a military exhibition. In 2007, more than a dozen Iranian engineers lost their lives while trying to fit a chemical warhead to a missile in Syria. A few months earlier, a train apparently carrying military supplies to Syria was derailed by an explosion in northern Turkey.
If indeed Israel or the US is behind these events, there is something to keep in mind.
These operations are enormously dangerous for the operatives on the ground. Especially in Iran, the CIA or Mossad would not be likely to risk them unless the payoff was relatively large.
That means anything that might significantly delay the Iranian nuclear program, or change the balance of power between Israel and Syria or Hezbollah. Chemical/biological weapons for Hezbollah would probably count, or perhaps anti-aircraft systems.
The analogy between war and chess is not accidental. In the early stages of a game of chess, a player tries to position his forces so that when the violence escalates the enemy’s assets will be bottled up or neutralized. Sometimes a piece is sacrificed in a trade for one of conventionally lower value in order to obtain a positional advantage.
Of course real war is infinitely more complicated than chess, with more than two players and many more pieces, pieces whose capabilities, unlike those of chess pieces, are often unknown until they are actually used. But the concept of position is fundamentally the same.
Today the US and Iran are engaged in the early stages of a game in their protracted match. This game will involve another Israel-Hezbollah clash — after all, Hezbollah exists only for one reason, to oppose Israel — and the positional sparring has begun.