Guest Post: Iran’s Insane Rhetoric

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics

Iran’s Insane Rhetoric

Iranian officials are once again firing off belligerent rhetoric.

Via the Jerusalem Post:

Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Islamic Republic’s Qods Force, said this week that Iran needed just “24 hours and an excuse” to destroy Israel.


In his first public interview in a year, reported in the Persian-language Jahan News, which is close to the regime, Shirazi said if Israel attacked Iran, the Islamic Republic would be able to turn the conflict into a war of attrition that would lead to Israel’s destruction.


“If such a war does happen, it would not be a long war, and it would benefit the entire Islamic umma the global community of Muslims. We have expertise in fighting wars of attrition and Israel cannot fight a war of attrition,” Shirazi said, referring to Iran’s eight-year war of attrition against Iraq.

Such claims are — more or less — inconsequential rubbish. The fact remains that Israel has nuclear weapons and a nuclear second strike, and Iran has no such thing, and the fact remains that the Iranian leadership knows this and are extremely unlikely to start a war where Iran (as Shimon Peres put it) will be the one wiped off the face of the Earth by Israeli plutonium. Yet the facts of military science will do little to stop the hawks of the West sounding off that Iran is irrational and that Iran is cooking up a plan to destroy Israel, and so must face regime change.

To grasp what is really occurring here we must look at how authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes (or, indeed, authoritarian regimes in general)  function. Authoritarian regimes  must maintain a cloak of authority. Tyrants do not attempt to look or sound weak; they try to project an aura of invincibility and indefatigability. We saw this during the last Gulf War, where Iraq’s information minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf — nicknamed Baghdad Bob in the American media — shot off hundreds of absurd statements during the war about how Iraqi troops were crushing the Americans, quite in contrast to the facts on the ground and right up until American tanks were rolling through the streets of Baghdad.

Baghdad Bob was not deluded. He was merely playing his role, and trying to project an aura of regime invincibility — providing propaganda for domestic consumption to keep the Iraqi population loyal to Saddam Hussein. It was a dog and pony show.

Iran’s belligerent rhetoric in this case is also strictly for domestic consumption — fierce rhetoric to keep the Iranian population fearful of the regime. Just like Baghdad Bob, the Iranian propaganda is far-removed from the real facts of the conflict. Whether the Iranian people really believe the regime’s propaganda — especially as the Iranian economy continues to worsen under sanctions — is dubious.

Yet one group of people — the Western neoconservatives, who are looking for another war — are more than happy to buy into the dog and pony “destroy Israel” bullshit.

As Robert Gates noted this week:

Painting a picture of internal political dysfunction in a dangerous world, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Wednesday night that a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran would have disastrous consequences.


Neither the United States nor Israel is capable of wiping out Iran’s nuclear capability, he said, and “such an attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable. They would just bury the program deeper and make it more covert.”


Iran could respond by disrupting world oil traffic and launching a wave of terrorism across the region, Gates said.


“The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.”

And as I wrote last month:

A regional war in the Middle East could result, potentially sucking in the United States and Eurasian powers like China, Pakistan and Russia. China and Pakistan have both hinted that they could defend Iran if Iran were attacked — and for good reason, as Iran supplies significant quantities of energy.

Frustratingly, the Iranian regime keep giving the neoconservatives more rope with which to hang themselves — and the West — on a cross of imperial overstretch, debt and blowback.

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zed26's picture

Your source is the Jerusalem Post? An Zionist newspaper..


If Israel nuked Iran, Pakistan would nuke Israel and so would Russia so Israel would be wiped off the map.

Earl of Chiswick's picture

This author of this article uses the term "rubbish"

I respectfully suggest that this article is rubbish.

Randall Cabot's picture

Just those three paragraphs are from the Jerusalem Post.

falak pema's picture

yes the sauce source is the  J Post but the cooked meal is of Aziz the chef. 

You guys won't give him a star for his cooking, he'll have to come up with another menu.

Aziz's picture

Giving neocons an excuse to attack is the "insanity" I am talking about.

Read between the lines.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Not your best. They are being choked to death economically and financially by Western banksters. Should they just lay down and die?

And I am reading between the lines.

BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

Spot on.

The West have backed Iran in to a proverbial corner.  Do we really expect them to roll over and die without a fight?


strannick's picture

Such truthiness from our Jihadist Iranian leader is so inconvienient for our Isreal hating Progessive friends. The best rebuttle to the fantasy notion of Isreal's existence spoiling a potentially thriving pan Islamic Renaissane is simply to allow their dangerously comical leaders to express themselves.'s picture

The Iranians are definitely engaged in some justifiable chest beating which is nevertheless over the top. Such rhetoric is meant mainly for domestic consumption but gives ammunition to militant politicians in Israel and the US. The entire situation is insane. And if a fellow like Robert Gates is willing to go high profile with a condemnation of possible military strikes against Iran you know the situation is serious.

francis_sawyer's picture

Fuck Israel...

Go ahead and go it alone against Iran if you have a death wish [but I'd prefer you just STFU]...  I've got my popcorn... I'm sick & tired of these pussy motherfuckers stealing other people's money & spilling other peoples blood for their cowardly objectives...

strannick's picture

Like I said, please feel free to fully express yourself. 

Aziz's picture

Laying down and dying is not the only alternative to giving the neocon aggressors exactly what they want which is more "destroy Israel" rhetoric to give them an excuse to invade (which of course Iran cannot follow through on, so why talk about it?)

I think the Iranian leadership want the USA and Israel to attack them, like bin Laden wanted the USA to invade Afghanistan with the end goal being the bankruptcy of the American empire. If that is the case they will succeed in the long run — the US empire will die from bankruptcy, overstretch and blowback. But in the short run, that will mean a lot of pain for the Iranian people.

Element's picture


The bankruptcy is the cure.

The debt is the disease.

Bankruptcy leads to growth.

From 1933 to 1936 there was spectacular economic re-growth, once the former criminal infested corrupt zombie banking system had finally died during the first half of 1933.

Robot Traders Mom's picture

John-the US Military Industrial Complex will always have targets. Even if Iran bowed to the US/Israel, we would find other countries...


I think Iran wants to be left alone, like every other country in the world except the US/UK/Israel

piceridu's picture

If you can't come up with a viable false flag...cutoff food, exports and create one internally...i.e. Japan pre Pearl Harbor

falak pema's picture

Aziz, they don't need a real excuse, they do what they want when they want to. You are not thinking like a power player but like a moralist. 

Vietnam to today, its always been that way, even before specifically for Iran : 1953.

So the only brake on Pax Americana neo-con cake baking in Mid East is the law of diminishing returns which increases the returns for its adverseries. 

The American ship is now at tipping point although the ruling class, blue and red, won't admit it. 

The clerics of Iran are dogmatists, they have to live out their own dogma, as their internal power depends on it.

We are in a corrupt conundrum on both sides. 

That is the real danger, a Sarajevo type knee jerk.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Everybody ignores the fact that there is a cultural component. In Persian tradition, talking in hyperbole, particularly when addressing an enemy, is expected. But the words do not express what's really going on or what calculations are really being made: they're just bluster. We in the West take them seriously. Similarly throughout the Middle East it is standard procedure to lie to one's enemy, there's a different cultural standard applied to "truth-telling". In the Calvinist/Puritanical West, telling a lie is a "sin" and a sign of moral intransigence, over there it's not, it's just a method to deceive an enemy.

Cathartes Aura's picture

. . . and yet here in the "Calvinist/Puritanical West" lies abound, the whole nationstate artifice is constructed of carefully obscured lies, taught in skool, repeated in kulture, aided by religion preachers, strings pulled by the banking class, and the "neo-cons" are merely another tentacle of the life-sucking story.

there is no "truth" in nationstate/religious mythology.  none.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Completely agree. Here's a nice list of the fabric of lies by Paul Craig Roberts:

Cathartes Aura's picture

I would say that the model of war-states, artificial boundaries drawn for the purpose of plunder & occupation, for the purpose of killing, for sport, is a major thread within the fabric.

add the worship of monies aided by the banking classes, the stock gamblers, the fast-talking fiat-makers, and you have a rather large piece of the reality of national-statehood.

and I know you know this.


RichardP's picture

So lets get rid of nations and artificial boundaries and artificial monies and go back to tribes.  That will bring peace to everyone, right?  Tribes don't need no stinkin boundaries or mediums of exchange, right?  History shows that, when tribes dominate, peace reigns, right?

How about, it is the nature of man that is the problem.  Men will fight with each other whether there are nations and artificial boundaries or not.  The idea that we can ever get to any sort of state where man won't fight man is another candidate for Paul Craig Roberts' list of lies.

Cathartes Aura's picture

someone (else) downvoted you. . .

it might surprise you that I agree with you,

Men will fight with each other whether there are nations and artificial boundaries or not.  The idea that we can ever get to any sort of state where man won't fight man. . .

it is most certainly the nature of men to constantly fight, and all the other fine attributes that I'll spare you a list of.  would that "cultures" could see and agree on this - but then what's the solution?  if anyone was actually seeking a solution to this perpetual problem, then we could begin to address it - but it's an eternal nature kind of thing, so we'll just have to suffer, eh.

if I ruled the world, I'd set aside a hot, deserty place and exile the fighters to their own little world, Fight ClubberZone, and that's where they could live in the style of their choosing.  anyone else wanting to partake of the meme, service them, feed them, whatever, would also be accommodated.  but no leaving until the SHIT gets beaten out of them, until they tired of their own. . . company.

the rest of the people who desired to live without war, rape, pillaging, theft, fighting, harassment, etc. - would be free to form their families as they see fit.  the idea of "tribes" definitely appeals - they'd be safe from plunder & competing tribes, so how fine would that be! 

of course, no gods would flourish, as special privileges for the lads bestowed on them by Sky-Fathers would also be History. . . can't see much to complain about. . .

the absence of "war" isn't "peace" - but it's a helluva start, to not be jerked around periodically by the banking interests in war profiteering, and the dudes who love weaponry.

peace RichardP, honestly.


falak pema's picture

the dukes of nuke lands are comparing their relative nuke sizes...

None have the intention to use their lethal pokers; as they know that like for a drone bee you only get to use it once. Then you die...Do bees and wasp die after they sting a human

max2205's picture

Wars for the last 20 years and the future will be supported by Americans only if there aren't many us deaths. DoD knows this and plans for this.

No shit are we that fucking stupid.

Cathartes Aura's picture

voluntary military, voluntary voters, yes, the stupid is thick.

DosZap's picture

A regional war in the Middle East could result, potentially sucking in the United States and Eurasian powers like China, Pakistan and Russia. China and Pakistan have both hinted that they could defend Iran if Iran were attacked — and for good reason, as Iran supplies significant quantities of energy.


And herein lies the reasons for the hyperbole.Also, they are buying timew while they are methodically in the process of building nukes.

They KNOW there is no other way to destroy Israel,without Nuke capability.As for Pakistan nuking Isareal, that would be a two way deal............Whoever got theirs launched first wins.You think Paki will  take the chance of their copuntry being destroyed to defend Iran?.

Not me.

And if the good general thinks the US could not take out Irans Nuke facilities, he's smoking crack.

RichardP's picture

They KNOW there is no other way to destroy Israel ...

How about Iran could develop an international coalition and consensus and the coalition could impose sanctions on Israel.  That would strangle Israel to death.  Iran has enough friends, and is powerful enough, that they could do that, right?

nah's picture

does pakistan really have controll systems that are that good? have they tested their long range missile technology enough to really launch nukes to poor little israel and know their even going to hit anything...


even a jew


dont forget smart ass, the USA was landing people on the MOON in the 60's when most of this shit was built, its all acutally pretty complicated and dangerous, and I dont think the russians forgot how this really works


and whats a zionist anyways bitchez

slaughterer's picture

Nukes are good for my short portfolio.  Can someone from Goldman get over there and get them to push the red buttomn? 

rotagen's picture

Yeah nevermind that GREASY warthog Netanyahoo's warmongering Encephalopathic Rhetoric.... Zero Hedge... You're starting to emit that loud SUCKING SOUND.

Oh regional Indian's picture

C'mon Aziz, a few words in response to all-out subversive covert war and you're calling it insane?

How do you drown out a howling Banshee like Yahoo except with some wailing of your own?

Strange tenor to the article. Off balance.


Aziz's picture

Read between the lines. The "insanity" is giving neocons exactly what they want — an excuse to attack.

Oh regional Indian's picture

I'm questioning the very basis of yoru article. You come off like an MSM repeater with a thin veneer of angst.

No depth here. It's not a nuanced view to see that Iran is being HOUNDED. SURROUNDED. BOMBED. ASSASINATED. SANCTIONED.

They have every right to retaliate, not just in words.

Big Fail.


Aziz's picture

Iran is being hounded, surrounded, bombed, assassinated and sanctioned. That's true enough.

So why the heck do they keep giving Israel and America ammunition to keep doing it by talking about obliterating Israel? Yes — they need to play the strongman in order to project a tough image and keep the regime credible. But this is like poking a hornet's nest with a stick. 

As I have written mutiple times on ZH, I think the real aggressors are the USA and Israel. But If Iran wants peace they need to stop the war rhetoric. The neocons will take any excuse they can find for war. Ultimately, the neocons are bankrupting the West, and an invasion of Iran may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. So I suppose this could work out well for Iran and their allies in the end. But it's a very dangerous game for the Iranian people and the people of the world.

Cathartes Aura's picture

john, it is the script of nation-states to posture aggression.  you know this, it is embedded in the reality we all labour under.  once seen through, it becomes painfully obvious, this crotch-grabbing meme that leads to death, leads to the war profits, leads to destruction.

there are no "sides" but only the pervasive threat of devastation.  it's what states do, posture death.

Element's picture

They don't need an excuse, they will make one up to order.

dracos_ghost's picture

".. giving NEOCONS exactly what they want -- an excuse to attack". ?!

You sure it's not Obama needing an October surprise here. The Arab Spring was a disaster, gonna have to appease the Jewish Vote in Boca Raton by bombing Achmed. 

I believe ZH even posted a good article showing Obama and his Iranian sanctions pushing Iran into the proverbial corner. Are you saying Obama is a secret neocon operative? Oooo, gimme some popcorn, this is getting interesting. I bet you have some weak neocon argument for Fast and Furious too.

At the end of the day, fuck the whole region. This whole Middle East machismo is tiring. Somebody put up or STFU. Isn't it "sweeps week". Entertain me goddammit. 


Newsflash, neocon or progressive fascist(Obama), TPTB are the problem. Stop buying into the Hasting Pudding vs Whiffenpoofs punch and judy show. The rabbit hole is a whole lot deeper.


Cathartes Aura's picture

obama is a figurehead, an employee.

the only "sides" left are us v them.  vacate sides.

if you're going to post opinion blogs, make them power-full, dig deeper.

Oldwood's picture

I'm tired of the neocon label. It is used to cover too much territory. And why do so many want to see obama as any kind of moderate or middle of the road guy. Stalin nor Mao had any reservations against imperialism. Are they neocons too?Are they not The posterchildren of socialism/communism? 

LasVegasDave's picture

you dopes both miss the point.

The first move will be against Hezbollah.

Nasrallah will be incinerated, and southern lebanon bombed into a lunar landscape.

Remember, Hezbollah only exists at the pleasure of Israel. Their days are numbered.

Gaza is inconsequential and will be held in check with cash to turncoats. No one gives a rats ass about them, except, ironically, the Israelis.

Iran will then commit a typical cowardly act through proxies, and will be nuked as a lesson to the Umma.

Pakistan?  they will do nothing, as they have no dog in the fight.  Russia will sit back and watch their oil and gas holdings surge in value and will secretly applaud the Israelis for taking care of their Muslim problem


Element's picture

Davo, are you a moron or what?

The bombing of South Lebanon in July-Aug 2006, and Gaza in Jan 2009 and the maritime blockade of Gaza has destroyed the global image of Israel and has demolished its credibility entirely.  It's now seen for what it is by a large and growing section of humanity.  And there's also the clear evidence that 9-11 was also an Israeli attack.

You will be checking-out Davo.

LasVegasDave's picture

we will all be checking out.

As to Israel's global image; it will always be shit, just as Jews will always be scapegoated for all the world's ills.

Its in the human DNA.

The only relevant question to me is what are the Jews prepared to do about it.

As long as there is .308 Winchester and the second amendment, I think they have a fighting chance

dumpster's picture

well this insane rhetoric stuff sounds like a presidental debate here in america .

or a homeland security press briefing , or a netenyohoo un speech on lines in sand

and most of the stuff out of iran is filtered by the insane usa press to mean something differnt then its intent

knukles's picture

If there were no rhetoric, there'd be no politicians

Oh regional Indian's picture

If there was no Rhetoric, there would be no Trivium.


Cathartes Aura's picture

. . . ergo . . .


full circle insanity.

Oh regional Indian's picture I like to say,

Cogito ergo bum....


otto skorzeny's picture

Israel- something else that GB has created and the US has to deal with. Alot of this Iranian bullshit goes back to BP getting the CIA to topple a democratically elected Prez who wanted to nationalize Iranian oil.

knukles's picture

Ever so very true, of the British birthing of much of the Middle Eastern mess.

Of BP:  BP's origins date back to the founding of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909, established as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company to exploit oil discoveries in Iran. In 1935, it became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and in 1954 British Petroleum.

courtesy, Wikipedia