It’s hard to know how much credibility to lend to this report. But I think it’s worth giving it some attention given that Israel and the U.S. seem to discount the response that might come from parties outside Iran to an attack against that country.
The Russian media reports (Hebrew translation) that the country’s defense ministry and military forces are preparing contingency plans for a likely Israeli military attack against Iran, possibly involving the U.S. as well. Russia is reinforcing its armed forces in the southern Caucuses, Black and Caspian Seas and the Mediterranean. Government sources tell reporters that they see evidence of preparations for an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites with the support of the U.S. The strike, when it comes, will be sudden, with profound consequences and the possibility for a regional war ensuing. Russia is preparing military procedures which would minimize any losses it could incur in the event of an Iran attack.
Russia has been preparing such contingency plans for over a year and they are now nearing completion. The Russian military base in Armenia has been upgraded. Other bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are also battle-ready. Russian naval forces near the Georgian border can also come to the aid of the Iranians. Russia also has naval squadrons equipped with aircraft that are expected shortly in the Syrian port of Tartous in case there are military threats to Syria.
A Russian military analyst interviewed for the story says that if Iran faces a full-scale assault and appears to be losing, Russia would lend military assistance, at the military-technical level at the very least. The article also notes the possibility that an Iran attack might encourage many other parties like Armenia and Azerbijian to take advantage of the breakdown of order to advance their own territorial ambitions. Any one of these could lead to a much broader conflict in the region.
I’ve already noted the potential parallel between the current tinderbox situation and the events that led to World War I. The above report further reinforces this danger. Those of you who’ve taken summer trips to national parks and seen those signs displaying the level of fire danger will understand when I say that the arrow is pointing to red, the absolute highest level of fire danger. The smallest match could light this baby and burn the whole forest to the ground.