Tehran and Washington are on a straight line to collision.
Iran has readied its intermediate-range missiles for launch – although not as yet its long-range ballistic weapons.
According to current estimates by DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources in the West and in Israel, the Iranians are deep in extremely thorough preparations for a military escalation with the US in the second week of February. They are meanwhile conducting exploratory passes prior to landing heavy blows on US bases and other targets at that time.
This time frame is highly significant since on Feb. 11, the Islamic Republic celebrates the anniversary of its Shiite Revolution. An onslaught on the US military would be the most appropriate form of celebration, in the view of its current leaders – especially in Iraq, where the American presence stands in the way of dominating their most coveted territory of influence.
While Iran and the US are using the coming three weeks to prepare for the collision, the forces urging restraint are bending all their efforts to turning it aside.
Israel has been on high alert since the Soleimani killing, lest as America’s foremost ally it takes the brunt of Iranian punishment. On Monday, a security cabinet meeting issued a dry statement according to which “Our military circles don’t expect an Iranian-US clash to involve this country since it had no hand in the killing of Qassem Soleimani.” This statement aimed at calming taut nerves in the country.
Source: DEBKAfile’s military sources report