The current occupant of the White House and his administration face an Iran that is much better armed and more influential than at any other time in its modern history, American weekly magazine The New Yorker says.
According to the publication, the entire US presidents have failed to contain Iran’s political influence and military leverage in the West Asia region and that military action frequently floated by US President Joe Biden and his predecessors is no longer an “attractive or effective long-term option.”
General Frank McKenzie, head of the US Central Command, has previously analyzed how a conflict with Iran might play out. “If they attack out of the blue, it would be a bloody war,” it quoted McKenzie as telling him.
Pointing to lessons learned by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq, the magazine said a full-scale military campaign by the US would almost certainly trigger a regional war on multiple fronts.
“Iran is now one of the world’s top missile producers. Its arsenal is the largest and most diverse in the Middle East,” the paper said, citing a Defense Intelligence Agency report.
“Iran can fire more missiles than its adversaries—including the United States and Israel—can shoot down or destroy. Tehran has achieved what McKenzie calls ‘overmatch’—a level of capability in which a country has weaponry that makes it extremely difficult to check or defeat,” it added.
“Iran’s strategic capacity is now enormous. They’ve got overmatch in the theater—the ability to overwhelm,” it further quoted McKenzie as saying.
According to the magazine, Iran now has the largest known underground complexes in the Middle East housing missile programs.
“Most of the tunnels are in the west, facing Israel, or on the southern coast, across from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf sheikhdoms,” it said, referring to Iran’s “missile cities”.
The Islamic Republic has thousands of ballistic missiles, according to US intelligence assessments.
“They can reach as far as thirteen hundred miles in any direction—deep into India and China to the east; high into Russia to the north; to Greece and other parts of Europe to the west; and as far south as Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa. About a hundred missiles could reach Israel,” The New Yorker said.
“Iran also has hundreds of cruise missiles that can be fired from land or ships, fly at low altitude, and attack from multiple directions. They are harder for radar or satellites to detect, because, unlike ballistic missiles, their motors do not burn brightly on ignition. Cruise missiles have altered the balance of power across the Persian Gulf,” it said.