Thursday, Feb. 16th 2012

What is Iran and the Revolutionary Guard Up To?

Newspapers all over the world have covered the clumsy attacks or preparations for attacks carried out in Thailand, Azerbaijan, India, and Georgia. In Bangkok, three Iranian nationals rented a house where explosive devices were found after one Iranian nearly killed himself accidentally by igniting an explosive at the house. Disoriented, the man threw grenades at a taxi that refused to pick him up and at responding police officers.

Earlier this week, Hezbollah and the Quds Force were apparently involved in attacks in India and Georgia on Monday, 13 February 2012. In reporting this story Yaakov Katz of the Jerusalem Post led the story by pointing out the attacks on two embassies were one day after the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mugniyah, former Hezbollah Special Security Apparatus leader and Quds Force operator. (Katz’s book, cowritten with Yoaz Hendel, Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War, addresses Muginyah’s assassination and is scheduled for publication this spring Potomac Books.)

Amateurish? Unsuccessful? Some question this could be the vaunted Quds Force. Will Hartley of Janes Terrorism and Insurgency Center at London’s IHS Jane’s said,

“The attacks in India, Georgia and now Thailand have all been highly amateurish, and lack the sophistication that would normally be expected from an operation executed by either Hezbollah or Iran’s own external operations wing, the Quds Force.”

In Israel, Haaertz had an opinion that may be more accurate:

“Such haste is not typical of Tehran’s previous decision-making, and it shows that the decision makers are under pressure and liable to be driven more by emotions than by cool calculation. This may foretell escalation as well as a weakening of the restraints that have slowed progress on Iran’s military nuclear program.”

 Like the Quds Force operation aimed at the Saudi ambassador to the United States that was disrupted in October 2011, the recent attacks don’t have the polish many attribute to everything that the Quds Force and Hezbollah do. Perhaps we should wonder why that is.

 




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Books

In Iran's Revolutionary Guard, a thoroughly researched investigation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Steven O'Hern reveals new information about Hezbollah and IRGC operations inside...

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The Intelligence Wars: Lessons from Baghdad, a book that is a critical review of U.S. intelligence operations in Iraq, explains why human intelligence must be better managed to fight future enemies.

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