You are currently viewing Red Diamond Volume 11 Issue 1    Iranian Missile Strike: Implications of Iran’s Response

Red Diamond Volume 11 Issue 1 Iranian Missile Strike: Implications of Iran’s Response

warfare. In response to the 2010 Stuxnet cyber-attack, Iran focused on increasing cyber warfare capabilities, including cyber defense and cyber-attack. They have
state-sponsored cyber groups capable of launching significant attacks on critical infrastructure.14 The use of proxy groups gives Iran flexibility in attack timing,
plausible deniability, generates stand-off, and exploits political ambiguity and strategic posture. Iranian Diplomacy It has been almost 30 years since the last successful
ballistic missile strike targeted US support areas. In 1991, Iraqi forces successfully struck US forces based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing 27 and injuring dozens
more.15 In 2003, Iraq again struck a US Operational Support Area in Kuwait with two missiles, but caused no casualties.16 During the recent Iranian missile strike
Iraq’s Prime Minister confirmed Iran provided warning to Baghdad 90 minutes prior to the strikes. The warning
stated that a strike against US targets in Iraq was

imminent and indicated that while the missiles would hit targets on Iraqi soil, they would be aimed only at US military assets.17 Both bases lacked surface-to-air missile defenses protecting against a conventional missile strike. If it were not for diplomatic channels warning of an
imminent attack US casualties could have been heavier. Iran exhibited skilled diplomacy. Assessing certain
retaliation if any US forces were killed, Iran took an opportunity to conduct a spectacular attack while diplomatically safeguarding against retribution.
Information Operations Since the Soleimani strike, Iran has waged a targeted
information operations (IO) campaign attempting to recruit and garner support with online propaganda
exploiting Soleimani’s death. As the confrontation with the US escalated from competition to crisis the rhetoric
grew increasingly aggressive. Information operations have been part of Iran’s arsenal since the Islamic Revolution. With the start of social media’s exponential

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