A US Air Force airman marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, at the 86th Air Base near Fetesti, Romania, February 17, 2022.

From Hypothetical US Military Strikes On Iran To Inconclusive Talks

Monday, 03/18/2024

Renowned Tehran academic Mohammad Fazeli suggests that Iran could incur a loss of 35 quadrillion rials (roughly $60 billion) if the United States were to target its power plants in an attack.

Fazeli, responding to a hypothetical scenario during an interview with Khabar Online website in Tehran regarding a potential US attack on Iran's infrastructure, estimated a loss of roughly $60 billion specifically in the area of power generation. The question stemmed from alleged suggestions by some Iranian opposition figures urging US officials, particularly during the Trump Administration before 2020, to target Iran's infrastructure.

The sociologist expressed skepticism about whether the Iranian people would welcome such an attack. "I would not readily embrace such a notion. Do those proposing such actions believe that the world will rebuild power plants for Iranians after an attack?" questioned Fazeli.

Most among Iranian opposition groups and individuals demand regime change in Iran and demand that sanctions be maintained and strengthened against the Islamic Republic. A few might have even suggested in the past that military strikes may hasten the regime’s fall.

Fazeli went on to remark, "I cannot claim that my own over 150,000 followers represent the entirety of the Iranian populace." He emphasized, "Advocating for strikes on Iran and speaking in such terms normalizes malevolence. An attack on Iran is unequivocally evil. History shows that attacks on countries have never brought happiness to their people."

Academic Mohammad Fazeli

"If such an attack were to occur on any country, it would regress to the Stone Age; without electricity, there would be no water, internet, television, refrigeration, or anything," the sociologist remarked, continuing, "America attacked Iraq 20 years ago. Inquire with those who pilgrimage to Iraq. Ask them if Iraq is a developed country. Also, consider Libya. Even after 30 years since the war with Iraq, Khoramshahr and Abadan in Iran have yet to be rebuilt." Fazeli reiterated, "In the 21st century, the destruction of infrastructure signifies eternal ruin." Additionally, he suggested that reforming the system and rectifying the status quo without further fatalities and destruction is less costly than a destructive attack that leads to foreign humiliation. "We should not transition from a dire situation to absolute evil."

Moreover, Fazeli had previously drawn parallels between Iran's current state and the pre-revolution period of 1979, noting a high demand for political participation coupled with limited opportunities, which he believes could lead to instability.

Transitioning from hypothetical scenarios to real-world negotiations, former Iranian influential lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh asserted that US-Iran talks primarily served to assuage President Biden's concerns about the upcoming election. Falahatpisheh disclosed that the discussions in Oman aimed to address Biden's electoral worries, with the US agenda dictating the terms while Iran had minimal input.

Falahatpisheh lamented missed opportunities for détente between Iran and the US, suggesting that Tehran sacrificed potential reconciliations with America over its involvement in conflicts like Ukraine. Despite ongoing talks in Oman facilitated by Omani intermediaries to curb Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, Falahatpisheh observed that Iran had made few gains.

The prospects for Iran remain bleak, with scant progress made in negotiations. However, amidst these discussions, Iraq secured approval from Washington to pay in hard currency for Iranian electricity and natural gas it imports.

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