Friday, March 22, 2013

Has Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made an empty threat? (UPDATED)

If this is not yet another case of mistaken translation, as there have been many in the past, then it appears that the Iranian Supreme Leader,  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made a completely empty threat towards Israel.  According to RT,
Iran’s most powerful authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the Islamic Republic would raze the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa “to the ground” if Israel launched a military strike against it. “At times the officials of the Zionist regime [Israel] threaten to launch a military invasion, but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said during an address on live state television.
Sure enough,  the Zio-media turned that into yet another "proof" that the Iranians are hell-bent on genocide.

The biggest problem with all that is that this threat is nonsensical.  Never in the history of warfare has a city been razed by missile attacks.  From the Nazi V-1/V-2 strikes on London, to Saddam's strikes on US forces in the Persian Gulf and on Israel, missiles were never effective in striking cities.  In fact, unless they carry nuclear warheads, missiles are not at all suited for that task simply because of the relatively small payloads they carry.  For example, the throw-weight of the Iranian Shahab-4 is reportedly less than 1000kg.  Sure, 1 ton of high-explosives or cluster warheads will result in a huge explosion, but that is no bigger than the old V-2 rocket were capable of.  It will bring down any building, or even a street block, but you would need a huge number of missiles to really raze a major city.  Frankly, there are only three ways to raze a city: nuclear warheads, carped bombing from the air, or a massive and sustained artillery barrage.  Iran can deliver none of these.

Iran does have an impressive missile force, and Iran's missiles can painfully strike Israel, these missile can destroy key buildings in Israeli cities, which will create a panic and chaos, and if Hezbollah joins in these strikes with its own missiles the panic in Israel will be total, but even in these conditions no city in Israel will be "razed to the ground".

The Iranian leadership should be very careful to avoid making bombastic but empty threats as these only damage Iran's credibility and serve Zionist interests.

The Saker

UPDATE: alas, the translation has been confirmed by PressTV.  This is most unfortunate and, I would add, rather uncharacteristic of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.