TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An Irish political analyst explained the reasons behind Washington’s failure to respond to Iran’s retaliatory missile attack against a US base in Iraq on Jan. 8, saying that “the US is aware that Iran is willing and able to engage in a major conflict if necessary.”

– Interview news –

“The US military’s image as all-powerful constitutes a large part of its ability to threaten opponents, but at the same time (and for various reasons), the US military’s actual ability to wage war with impunity is no longer consistent with that all-powerful reputation. As a result, the image must be upheld, and this is why Trump’s downplayed the impact of the Iranian missiles. As noted, however, the US did not respond because it expected and was prepared to tolerate a ‘proportionate’ response. Also, the US is aware that Iran is willing and able to engage in a major conflict if necessary, and it is not clear that the US would emerge as the victor in such a conflict. The US has always been extremely reluctant to engage in any major conflict that it might be seen to lose.

An established web-based essayist and print author, Quinn is the co-host of the ‘News Real’ radio show on the Sott Radio Network and has been writing incisive editorials for Sott.net for over 10 years. His articles have appeared on many news sites and he has been interviewed numerous times by Sputnik News and Press TV. His articles can also be found on his personal blog JoeQuinn.net.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Press Shia: On January 8, Iran’s Armed Forces launched missile strikes on a US base in western Iraq in retaliation for the US assassination of prominent Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani. What is your take on the attack?

Quinn: From the perspective of national pride, Iran had no choice but to respond militarily to the outrageous murder of Gen. Soleimani. It is likely however that some level of advance warning was provided to the US, or the US was aware of the likely targets of the Iranian missiles.

Press Shia: Iran fired 16 ballistic missiles. US forces failed to intercept them and could only watch and wait for impact, according to American websites and reports. The attack highlighted US missile defense vulnerability. How could this change regional equations in the future?

Quinn: It may highlight US defense vulnerability, or it may speak to the fact that the US was prepared to accept a “proportionate” response to the murder of Soleimani. Certainly, the US has significant missile defense capability, but the fact that they did not even attempt to intercept the missiles suggests that the attack was expected and tolerated.

Press Shia: US officials have confirmed that so far 50 American troops have been injured in the strike despite prior claims by Washington that no one was hurt. The scope of destruction was so extreme and is now becoming clear. Why did President Donald Trump attempt to downplay the attack, saying, “All is well”? Why do you think the US failed to respond?

Quinn: The US military’s image as all-powerful constitutes a large part of its ability to threaten opponents, but at the same time (and for various reasons), the US military’s actual ability to wage war with impunity is no longer consistent with that all-powerful reputation. As a result, the image must be upheld, and this is why Trump’s downplayed the impact of the Iranian missiles.  As noted, however, the US did not respond because it expected and was prepared to tolerate a ‘proportionate’ response. Also, the US is aware that Iran is willing and able to engage in a major conflict if necessary, and it is not clear that the US would emerge as the victor in such a conflict. The US has always been extremely reluctant to engage in any major conflict that it might be seen to lose.

Press Shia: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said last Friday, “The day the missiles of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps crushed the US base is one of the days of God. The Guards’ response was a major blow to America’s fearsome superpower image”. What do you think? Do you believe that it was a historical turning point as it was the first and only direct attack on the US since World War II?

Quinn: It can be viewed as a historical turning point, but only in the context of the US govt. publicly assassinating the military leader of a major global nation like Iran, which could also be seen as a historical turning point. The Iranian missile attack was, after all, carried out in response to the murder of General Soleimani by the Trump administration. The global order that has prevailed for the last 100 years is in the process of change, with that change, we should expect unprecedented events on the political and social levels.