So then, what does Iran do next? Days before she is going to meet with the P-5 + 1, near Qom, she test fires her medium range missiles, the Shahab-3 and Sajjil. With a range of 1,200 miles, these missiles can reach Israel, U.S. military bases in the Middle East, parts of Europe, and Russia. Russia probably didn't care for that. The West for quite a while has been seeking increased sanctions against Iran, but Russia and China with their veto power on the Security Council have prevented that from happening. Combine the revelation of the new site with the missile firings and Iran stands to lose the support of both Russia and China, neither of which want Iran to possess a nuclear weapon. Why would Iran do that? It just doesn't make any sense. It almost seems as if she is directly challenging the P-5 + 1, including two allies on the U.N. front.
Then there is this piece of insanity. Gen. Hossein Salami, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Air Force, said on Iran state media, "We are going to respond to any military action in a crushing manner and it doesn't make any difference which country or regime has launched the aggression. Salami? What an incongruous name for one of the most dangerous people on Earth. He's not going to win over Russia and China with rhetoric like that.
It almost seems as if Iran is just itching to have either the U.S. or Israel hit them. The IDF's air force, if permitted by the U.S. to fly over Iraqi air space, would decimate Iran. If, miraculously, Israel is paying a higher price in aircraft and pilots then expected (which I seriously doubt) she could turn to her nukes. That would be disastrous and could spark a larger conflict. In the case of a U.S. attack, I estimate that two, maybe three, CBG's could handle the mission nicely. That's why I have been saying all along that, ultimately, Iran won't do anything really rash to incur an attack by either. She has to know what she is up against.
Then there is the economics of Iran's situation. Iran is not only a fourth-rate power, she has a weak economy based solely on the oil trade. She has no refineries. She can't even make her own gasoline. No doubt, if there is a large-scale attack on Iran - and any attack would have to be large-scale - her oil trading business would end abruptly. Her only source of revenue dries up overnight for an undetermined amount of time.
Maybe I am making more of this than there is. Could be. However, the missile test firings days after Iran was forced to reveal a hidden nuclear facility and days before a big meet seems very provocative to me as well as short-sighted.
I am not changing my assessment of the situation. There will be no attack on Iran. The unintended consequences of such an attack would be enormous, and it is possible the entire world's economy could collapse. It's on shaky ground already without a massive disruption of the world's oil supply. 40% of the world's supply of oil pass through the chokepoint known as the Strait of Hormuz.
Unfortunately, Iran is not helping with that situation.