The release of the 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iran has robbed the U.S. of a pretext to attack Iran, but the U.S. has not given up plans to attack Iran militarily, said Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy for Geopolitical Problems, a Russian think tank.
"Preparations to strike Iran's strategic facilities continue. Three major groups of U.S. forces are still in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. Altogether, they have up to 450 cruise missiles on alert," the general told Interfax-AVN.
"Military operations against Tehran will begin with the launch of at least two unexpected strikes using Tomahawk cruise missiles and air power in order to disable Iran's air defense capabilities," he said.
"According to our data, up to 150 aircraft are to be involved in each strike on Iran. Land-based air defense systems will be disabled in the first place, then mobile short-range systems, which Tehran has (including some 30 new systems)," he said.