Daily Israel Report

Analysis: Iran Is Running Scared

Statements from Iran on the currency crisis and the drone that Israel downed shows it is running scared, according to analysts.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/9/2012, 1:25 PM

Destruction of the UAV
Destruction of the UAV
Courtesy: IDF Spokesman

Statements from Iran on the currency crisis and the drone that Israel downed shows it is running scared, according to some analysts.

An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) general claimed on Monday that the “Zionist regime” actually may have launched the drone, two days after Iran’s government-controlled media on Saturday reported a claim by a former Lebanese general that the drown that infiltrated into Israeli airspace before being downed was probably misfired from an American vessel.

Brigadier General Jamaloddin Aberoumand, the deputy coordinator of Iran’s IRGC, told the Tehran Times, “The action might have been a psychological operation carried out by the Zionist regime” and added, “Another point is that the Zionist regime has many enemies.”

Al Arabiya quoted an Iranian “source” as saying that the drone actually photographed the heavily-guarded nuclear facility near Dimona.

The multiple versions, along with the Iranian media claim that “the unmanned aerial vehicle had penetrated about 100 kilometers into the occupied territories,” indicate that Iran is getting nervous. The IDF said the drone was blown up approximately 40-50 kilometers inside Israel.

"They are worried that their deterrence has been eroded," Meir Javedanfar, an Iran analyst at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, told The Wall Street Journal.

If the drone was launched by Hizbullah, as Israel claims, it shows a “measured” response by Iran, which finances Hizbullah, he said. "They are being careful not to start a war,” the analyst added.

The IDF said it spotted the drone over the Gaza Coast and followed it into Israel until F-16 planes were able to blow it up over an unpopulated area in the Southern Hevron Hills. Its U-turn northward from Gaza indicates it may have been headed for the nuclear plant near Dimona, due east of Gaza. 

Iran’s reactions to the currency crisis also show that "Iran has lost control of its currency," a consultant told the Journal.

The rial lost 25 percent of its value last week, causing legislators to demand that  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad face questioning in the parliament.

Cliff Kupchan, a director at the Eurasia Group, a New York-based risk consultancy, told The Journal that Iran’s "talking point in the morning is about what the scapegoat of the day is."

Iran also has accused Israel of cyber attacks against its oil facilities, and the newspaper suggested that the accusation, along with others, is intended to divert attention from its economic turmoil and growing political opposition to  Ahmadinejad.