Jun 06 2010

Iran may help run the Israeli blockade of Gaza?

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 11:51 am

Iran Revolutionary Guards offer to escort Gaza-bound ships

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards are ready to provide a military escort to cargo ships trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday.

“Iran’s Revolutionary Guards naval forces are fully prepared to escort the peace and freedom convoys to Gaza with all their powers and capabilities,” Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative inside the Revolutionary Guards, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Any intervention by the Iranian military would be considered highly provocative by Israel which accuses Iran of supplying weapons to Hamas, the Islamist movement which rules Gaza.

The Guards, with their own navy, air force and command structure separate from the regular armed forces, are seen as fiercely loyal to the values of the Islamic Republic.

“If the Supreme Leader issues an order for this then the Revolutionary Guard naval forces will do their best to secure the ships,” Shirazi said. “It is Iran’s duty to defend the innocent people of Gaza.”

I suppose Iran sees this as simply protecting its investment. But if there was ever any doubt that the Gaza “humanitarian aid” flotillas have any other purpose than to allow (eventually) for weapons to reach Gaza by sea, this should end it.

Doubtless the United Nations would vote to affirm Iran’s attempt to provide “security” for the “aid” flotillas.  Or, at a minimum, perhaps the UN would simply fail to condemn it.

I think this is just talk, however.  If Iran were to bring military force into the equation, to try to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza, there would be a lot of bloodshed.  I think it would be impossible to pass it off as anything other than unnecessarily provocative.  Although I’m sure many at the UN would try.

It is much to be hoped that Iran is bluffing.