Iran’s Secret Weapons: Surprise, Pre-planning and Accurate Weaponry
There are good reasons why Iran was able to pull off successful, accurate attacks on US Middle East allies in the past month. These capabilities are itemized by DEBKA Weekly’s military experts:
The element of surprise: Before the four tankers were sabotaged on May 12 and 14 outside the UAE port of Fujairah, no intelligence agency, whether American, Gulf Arab or Israeli suspected this attack was coming. The only intelligence data received spoke of Iran activating Shiite militias to attack US military bases near the Syrian-Iraqi border, whereas four of the six hits until now targeted Gulf oil facilities plus a near-miss against the US embassy in Baghdad and a harmless rocket operation against Israeli Hermon positions
Therefore, Tehran managed to keep its war plans in total secrecy from the eyes of all hostile spy agencies and catch them all by surprise.
High professional standards of operation: Iranian marine and special forces units assigned to these attacks were highly proficient. Attaching limpet mines to the hulls of four tankers (in May) and detonating them in precise order, undetected by US or other forces present in the region, called for top military skills. The same applied to the rockets, which was precisely guided to explode at a point close to the US embassy in Baghdad without damaging the building. It achieved its exact purpose, which was to avoid causing harm while warning the Americans that trouble was ahead.
The escalating stages: The initial attacks caused no casualties and no irreversible damage to the four tankers. The next strikes against Saudi oil pipeline pumping stations delayed the flow through the east-west pipeline but was quickly repaired. However, the torpedo strike on June 13, on the two supertankers in the Gulf of Oman was a dangerous escalation. Those ships were still burning, The torpedoes may have been launched from speedboats or mini-submarines, yet no US or British warship cruising in these waters noticed any such craft approaching the tankers.
Precise weaponry: All the weapons the Iranians have used hitherto have operated faultlessly, none missing their mark. DEBKA Weekly’s military sources note that until now, no one had appreciated that Iran was in possession of weapons systems capable of hitting their targets with only a 1.5-meter margin of error. On Wednesday, June 12, Yemeni Houthi rebels fired a cruise missile at the southwestern Saudi airport of Abha. The Iranian-made weapon struck and destroyed the airport’s control tower. Iran’s possession of cruise missiles capable of carrying a warhead of half a ton to distance of 2,500 kilometers and then hit a pinpointed target like the Abha control tower, portends a whole new military threat for the combatants in any future Middle East war.