Intercepted Iranian memo re: upcoming US invasion strategy

Eyes Only/Top Secret

From: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
To: Joint Iranian military council, general officers, and distribution
Re: Upcoming US Invasion: Strategy

Greetings brothers. God is great, and may God be with you.

After consulting with many of you, our strategy in the coming war with the United States has become clear. This memo outlines that strategy so that we will all know, when the time comes, where our responsibilities and duties lie. (Note: this memo addresses a full-scale attack, only. A purely air-based attack will be handled diplomatically.)

Overall concept

Our former enemies, the Iraqis, have learned painful lessons from fighting the United States and, in the process, taught us much. We know now that symmetrical warfare, in other words, going toe to toe with the US with our tanks against theirs, our navy against theirs, and our air force against theirs, is unwinnable. God will help us, of course, but I doubt he will provide much assistance to fools.

Instead, we will wage asymmetrical warfare, and wage it very, very well. In the end, all we need do to win is endure more pain than the US is willing to endure. We can do that. We will do that.

The air

It is unlikely that the Iranian air force can kill even a single US aircraft in any head-to-head battle. Our avionics, long-range missiles, electronic warfare systems, and command and control systems are vastly inferior. If hostilities seem imminent, we will fly our planes to any neighboring country willing to keep them for us until the cessation of hostilities. If such a country cannot be found, we will destroy our aircraft on the ground. Martyring out pilots serves no useful function. They will be needed to rebuild after the war.

Our ground-based missile sites will turn on their radars, find a target, fire their missiles, and evacuate immediately. US HARM missiles will quickly hit our radars, making those sites useless.

Since we cannot contest absolute US air superiority, we cannot win a conventional war.

The sea

It is quite likely that the first US attack will target our Silkworm anti-ship missile installations. This may well be our first warning of a nationwide attack. If we determine that a full-scale attack is in progress, any remaining Silkworm sites are to fire upon any available target. US warships are the highest priority, tankers are next.

Upon confirmation of a full-scale attack, I will authorize arming the sleeper mines we have been laying for years in the Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz.

All Iranian surface craft are to stand down. We have no vessels capable of inflicting damage upon the US fleet with the exception of our three Chinese Kilo-class diesel electric submarines. These are quiet enough to escape detection from all but the most sensitive sonar devices. They are also equipped with anti-ship missiles good to a range of 220 kilometers. We currently have these vessels in the Indian Ocean on the lookout for US carriers. We will attempt to target the carriers. Some thought was given to using them to prey on oil tankers, but that idea was abandoned because of the near certainty that these subs will be found and killed by the US once they have launched their missiles. We salute the martyrs of our submarine fleet.

The land

We will use mines, landslides in the mountains, and strategically placed anti-armor missile teams to slow the enemy’s advance, but we have no hope of stopping them. Any attempt to do so would lead to utter destruction from the air. The US has airborne anti-armor weapons that can take out whole tank brigades at a time. We will need our soldiers. Without air cover, they cannot hope to survive even a few minutes on a battlefield.

Instead, all army personnel have been assigned to underground liberation teams. They will abandon most of their equipment and go to their places in cities, mountains, and countryside. As you know, we have prepared a number of caches of weapons, explosives, food, and other supplies for them. Each liberation team will be given a regional area with not fewer than eight of such caches available to them. No one will know where to find caches for other assault teams, so capturing officers will be of limited use to US forces.

The teams will be led by specially trained commandos, and will include demolition experts, guerrilla tactics experts, intelligence personnel, and counter-insurgency personnel. They will attack both US military targets and civilians and the families of civilians who cooperate with US forces.


All oil-producing and oil-transporting facilities have been wired. We will destroy them at the first hint of an invasion. The US will not use Iranian oil to finance its invasion and occupation.

We will also immediately destroy key bridges, generating plants, wastewater treatment plants, fresh water transport pipes and utilities, and food storage facilities. This will create great hardship for the Persian people and that is to be regretted, but it is necessary. We must leave the US with a humanitarian disaster on a huge scale. They will be forced to spend billions trying to save lives, but will still be confronted by television images of starving children. We will issue press releases blaming US bombing of infrastructure for the disaster.


At our urging, friendly Shi’a militias in Iraq have ceased military operations for some time. They have not been idle, though. We have been supplying them and training them while the Sunni militias have been busy fighting Al Qaeda, and they are ready to mount an attack to take full control of the government. They will be assisted by our people in military and police units. When they do so, the US will be forced to choose between continuing their attack on us, returning to save the Iraqi Sunnis from certain genocide, or doing both. All three options are in our favor.

It is hard to predict the course of events in Iraq, but it is safe to say that none of the possibilities are likely to be good for the US effort against us.


We will inflict casualties on US forces and target rolling stock, rail lines, trucks over one ton, pipelines, and Iranians who cooperate with US forces. We will bleed both the US forces and the US treasury dry. We are not divided like the Iraqis. The blood of Cyrus runs in our veins and the ruins of Persepolis and Susa in our hearts. We will be united against the invaders. Every Persian home will be a safe house for our liberation teams. We will take videos of our successes and broadcast them to the world.

We will win.

God be with you. God is great.
J. Stephen O’Brien makes his living in the belly of the beast as a management consultant, specializing in organizational behavior. His current and former clients include more than 90 of the Fortune 500 (depending on how you count), plus organizations as diverse as Harvard University and Eddie’s Rib Shack. Formerly, he headed the investor and media relations function for a Fortune 500 company, and was a professional stage actor on both coasts for three years. He still does some theater, industrial videos, and voice overs. A native Southerner, O’Brien now lives in the Rocky Mountain West with a wife, teenage daughter, two lovely, female dogs, female cat, and big, cowardly, tom cat. He mops estrogen off the walls in his spare time.

26 replies »

  1. What is this propaganda? Its not for real… is it? I mean how would you get this? Why would you not explain how you got this? One would think you would provide the original text translated into English for all the Arabic translators to see for themselves the language that the Iranian President used himself.
    Until I see some PROOF, I consider this to be bullshit propaganda.

  2. What the US needs are politicians who can grasp the obvious. That’s not the ultimate goal, of course, but it would be a nice place to start.

  3. Sorry my friend but this is BS, Ahmadinejad does not have the right to directly communicate to the heads of military, the military, Revolutionary Guards, Police and boarder patrols are all under the TOTAL control and order of Khamenei, the spiritual leader.

    The president is not even the second in command, so this is just another BS coming probably from MKO or MEMRI or probably some Iranian opposition from LA, or it is completely made up by someone else.

    First of all, no Iranian leader will start an official letter with the following words:

    -Greetings brothers. God is great, and may God be with you.

    They always start official letter with “Besmehi Ta’ala”(in the name of god) and NOT “Allaho Akbar” (God is great). And definitely not the phrase “may god be with you”, that is a phrase used by old Iranian guards during Shah’s time and I have never seen in in any offial letter in Iran after the revolution.

    And they will definitely DO not end the letter the way this one is ended.

    The person who fabricated this is an idiot who neither speak Farsi nor knows IRI AT ALL.

  4. This is a rhetorical tool to make a point, nothing else. It is obvious fiction, and if you want to complain that it should have been identified as such, so be it.

    But the tactics described in this fictional memo are reasonable, and they would be very, very effective. And we would lose.

    That’s the point of this memo – to point out graphically just how stupid invading Iran would be, and just how the lessons our enemies will be applied against us in the future.

  5. …if you want to complain that it should have been identified as such, so be it.

    Actually, I’d argue that maybe you should have read all the way to the end where the author bio is posted. And then maybe you should go back and re-read your Swift. Maybe that nice piece about eating Irish babies….

  6. I think this points to a failure in the US school system, personally. Clearly, it’s impossible to write something like this for some people without a winky face at the end to clue them in.

    Of course this isn’t REALLY a memo from someone high up in the Iranian government and, no, I don’t read, write, or speak Farsi.

    I wrote this simply to point out how Iran might fight a war against the US, and the implied ramifications for the US if they were to fight it this way. To the best of my knowledge, the information on the Chinese Kilo-class subs is correct, as is the information on the Silkworms, the use of HARM missiles by the US, etc. The issue with caches of weapons is, of course, pure fabrication, but it makes infinite sense, and appears to be what the Iraqis did. The mining in the Gulf and the Strait has been reported in the past and was used in the Iraqi/Iranian war. The mines under the roads would be SOP.

    Now, for all I know, the Iranians will be infinitely stupid and will try to fight a symmetical war against the US should the US invade. So be it. But I suspect they’re not stupid, and that they will do something very much like this should the occasion arise. If you don’t think they would do this, then it would be very useful to explain why you think so.

  7. Israel may have dibs. . .

    “A claim by President Ahmadinejad that Iran has 3,000 working uranium-enriching centrifuges sent a tremor across the world yesterday amid fears that Israel would respond by bombing the country’s nuclear facilities.”

    Said an Israeli defense expert. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we do something if the international community leaves us alone.” Does he mean like in a room, with Ahmadinejad?

    Just wish Ahmad. would shut up about his centrifuges. With rageaholic regimes like ours and Israel’s, you have to let sleeping dogs lie. Between us and Israel we have how many nuclear warheads and we’re worrying about uranium that hasn’t even been enriched for peaceful purposes yet?

  8. Russ:

    My understanding (to be corrected by someone who knows more about the Israeli Air Force, if necessary) is that Israel does not have the range to bomb most targets inside Iran on its own. It would require refueling from the US Air Force, almost certainly passage over air space in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Iraq (unless they take the REALLY long way around, which would require passage only over Egyptian air space), and the ability to fight through Iranian air defenses. Once in Iran, they would have to know where to find these facilities, hit them, AND hit them with ordnance capable of knocking them out.

    In other words, my understanding at this time is that the Israelis cannot pull this off without substantial US assistance, which begs the question of why the US would use the Israelis to do this instead of doing it themselves.

    I’m not saying it won’t happen. It’s just that, at this point, I don’t understand HOW it would happen.

  9. Just wish Ahmad. would shut up about his centrifuges. With rageaholic regimes like ours and Israel’s, you have to let sleeping dogs lie. Between us and Israel we have how many nuclear warheads and we’re worrying about uranium that hasn’t even been enriched for peaceful purposes yet?

    There appears to be a certain psychology in certain nations that I don’t fully understand. Kruschev once told the West that he was turning out ICBMs “like sausages,” which led to a massive build up in the US and hysteria over a non-existant “missile gap.” (See the book, “What We Now Know” for more details). But that made a certain amount of sense, since NATO was not going to mount a conventional attack on the Soviet Union.

    WHY Hussein and the Iranian leadership would want to provoke a very possible attack on themselves escapes me. Perhaps they think they can intimidate the West to back down with saber rattling? Perhaps it’s necessary to look strong for internal reasons?

    I don’t know the answer, but I would be fascinated if someone on here is familiar with why these leaders do these suicidal things.

  10. Oh man, I’m dying over here. Sorry, I know it’s a serious subject, but comments #1, #3 and #4…

    JS, you non-Farsi speaking bullshit propagandist. Wait, satirist. Wait, where’s the emoticon? It’s all too confusing.

  11. My, my. I underestimated average gullibility. How could anyone think that was real?

    Pretty disturbing, really.

  12. “I’d argue that maybe you should have read all the way to the end where the author bio is posted. ”

    That’s a modest proposal, Doc.

  13. Good googly moogly.

    You know, for about a minute and a half, I thought someone was just taking the satirical ball and running with it in those first few comments… I could not wrap my brain around the fact that at least three people thought it was for real. These Internets keep blowing my mind.

  14. Does anyone really think that the U.S. would attempt a ground invasion of Iran – NOT! Why should we? I can’t imagine there being any real advantage in doing so. Particularly so, in light of our most recent experiences in Iraq. Clearly, this country’s technological ability to litterally devastate each and every worthy target in Iran, using air power (alone), is enough to set that country back fifty years. What uranium enrichment program? And if we don’t verifiably take it out the first time around, then we simply keep moving dirt until we do. As long as Iran exists as a problem in the Middle East, we simply keep pounding them until they no longer have the capacity to be so. Go for it!

  15. I still want to know what the point of this is?

    Why did the author really write it? Swift had his reasons for his satire. But in the current American Climate of fear and militarism, I’d like to know why the author wrote this piece the way he did. It is not as clear as some posters make it out to be. Anything can be labled using any literary term you want to distract attention from the truly stated goal of the work. Judging by the comments here, I see many of you don’t understand the true nature of satire or how it can be used, especially by those waging propaganda or psyops. A cigar is never just a cigar even if everybody agrees that it is.

  16. laowaitattler – I personally found this post to be obvious fiction, but disagree with my fellow Scrouges that it qualifies as satire. Satire turns issues on their head to subject a serious issue to ridicule. The tactics described would be utterly effective, and so they’re really not satire. And it’s not really ridiculing the idea of a ground invasion of Iran, but rather pointing out using fiction exactly why an invasion would fail miserably.