Iran setting up 'passive defense' plan

MEMRI says Teheran introducing emergency measures to ensure regime will survive an attack.

Iran Nuclear 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Iran Nuclear 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Although Iran's leaders are relentlessly dismissing the notion that the West, including Israel, would dare attack its nuclear facilities and/or other targets, they are actually profoundly concerned by the prospect of a strike designed to achieve regime change. To ensure their continued hold on power in the event of such an attack, therefore, they have been gradually introducing a comprehensive emergency plan, called "Passive Defense," according to a report issued Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute. MEMRI said the "Passive Defense" plan has been drawn up on the orders of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and its provisions indicate "that the regime's main fear is of an attack on Iran's vital infrastructures which would ultimately lead to its downfall." "Passive Defense" seems to constitute the kind of homeland security program that was notably lacking in Israel during the Second Lebanon War. It places prime responsibility for managing the home front in the event of a war on Iran's Basij militia - which comprises some 12.5 million volunteers, almost half of them women - operating via a "region-based apparatus" that has already been set up in coordination with the country's Interior Ministry. Overseeing the plan is Gholam Reza Jalali, the former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Jalali, now the chairman of the Passive Defense Organization, has described in several recent interviews how work groups are being established in the various Iranian provinces to deal with everything from "intelligence [to] crisis management, sanitation [and] health care." Jalali said the "Passive Defense" plan aims to utilize all non-military strategies that could minimize the danger to the regime and its stability. This would include, he said, efforts to "conceal and protect the country's important and sensitive facilities, [which] would minimize their vulnerability [to attack] and allow the continued administration of the country in times of crisis..." "It is clear that the [war] on Iran cannot end with a [single] surprise attack," MEMRI quotes Jalali as saying, "and the aim of Passive Defense is to make sure that this [does not happen]." The MEMRI report, titled "Iranian Preparations and Deployment to Withstand Possible Western Attack," said Jalali had expressed concern that the West would attack Iran from the sea and air with the aim of destroying vital infrastructure and ultimately bringing about the downfall of the regime. "With military bases and forces around [Iran], America has access to the entire territory of the country," MEMRI quotes him as saying. "The Islamic Republic of Iran is a political regime that relies upon the [Iranian] people... If the enemy aims to change the regime, it can achieve this by disrupting the [ability of the regime] to administer the population. To this end, the enemy will try to paralyze infrastructures and the vital institutions of the regime, in order to sow dissatisfaction among the people." Via destruction of infrastructure and psychological warfare, Jalali elaborated, "[they] will instigate a popular uprising against the government." To confront this kind of threat, he said, Iran "must employ all [our] defense strategies and abilities. This is asymmetrical warfare, since our military capabilities are not on par with those of the US. Hence, if we want to stand up [to the US], we must employ 'passive defense' along with 'active defense' [i.e. military warfare], striving to achieve a 'combined defense' [strategy]."