posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 04:35 PM
1. Iran keeps building the program, the Russians protect them in the UN, the IAEA sits on its thumbs, the US calls them names. Iran becomes another N.
Korea, only in a more strategically important area, and a somewhat lack-luster coldwar ensues. The price of oil goes up even further. I buy a
2. Same as number one, but either America or Israel bombs the Iranian reactor before it is operational. Iran cries about it. Most of the UN calls us
dirty names. There is discussion of voting in the general assembly to remove us from the Security Council- the legality of that is hotly debated from
the American side, nothing ever comes of it because we have too many nations by the pursestrings.
The first two, I would be very slow to bet against- i consider them at least 70% of the total probability.
3. Same as number two, except Iran reacts by firing missiles against US forces in Iraq. American warships in the gulf are in danger, some may be lost.
They leave Israel alone and Israel decides to sit this one out. Iran does not attempt to enter Iraq, America takes painful but strategically
insignificant casualties, bombs the holy crap out of Iran, and under overwhelming domestic pressure, makes a peace agreement without an invasion.
(3, I give a 15-25% chance)
4. Same as number two, except Iran retaliates with both missiles and a border crossing into Iraq. Iranian forces are not able to cross the Tigris
river before additional American aircraft and infantry arrive. A stalemate, somewhat bloodier than what Americans are used to, ensues for up to a
month. America finally attacks, crushes the Iranian military, and if it chooses to occupy (which it doesn't have to, and should not) it will be the
end of the volunteer reserve, a major budget crisis, and perfect assurance of a Republican loss in 2008.
(4 I give 5-10%- i think that's generous)
5. Same as number 4 but poor organization on the part of the Americans allows inferior Iranian forces to cross the Tigris in the South. Basrah is
lost, Baghdad is besieged from two sides, American casualties are significant. America reinforces, breaks the seige, defeats Iran, possibly even uses
tactical WMD, but denies it.
6. Same as any scenario 3-5, but the Iranians get desperate and use Chemical Weapons. The United States responds with tactical nuclear weapons, but
avoids destroying population centers to the greatest extent possible. America conquers Iran and demands reparations as a term of surrender, a bloody
and expensive occupation ensues. US claims to Caspian Sea natural gas reserves as reparations trigger severe tensions with Russia.
(this I give a 0-4.99% chance)
7 (I'd bet my life it never happens). Iran plays it smart, and slips under the radar of US intelligence, keeps their cool for quite a while after
their reactor is bombed, acquires a larger quantity of SCRAMJET missiles such as the SS-22 (aka SS-N-22 If equipped with nuclear warheads), and waits
for US presence in Iraq to decrease further, as well as attempting to gain the active support of Syria and Jordan (Maybe Egypt if they are afraid of
being deposed). Once prepared, Iran uses civilian craft to sneak SS-22s into US ports and attack US carriers, and unleashes chemical weapons on major
US installations in the CONUS- Fort Bragg comes to mind. Having dealt a major blow to US deployment capability, Iran invades the United Arab Emirates
and Iraq simultaneously, with aid from at least Syria. Together they blockade oil exports from the gulf and blackmail the Saudis into compliance.
Israel almost immediately attacks the Syrians and Egyptians, but this gets bloody as Israel for the first time has the disadvantage of entering
foreign territory before having already defeated a significant portion of the opposing force. Israel goes nuclear, Iran responds with Chems. My
grandma refuses to shut up about it being Armageddon.
(this, i give a 0-.01% chance)