Best signals source points to the Samarra mosque bombing in Iraq as the launch operation of the Iranian counteroffensive. You will recall the retreat of Ahmadinejad some weeks back, out of sight for ten days while he participated in national exercises and war planning. First indications are that the war is now launched.
Rather than wait to be attacked by the US fleet and air, Iran has attacked — using all available surrogates to damage and intimidate the US-led coalition that is driving the IAEA referral recommendation to the UN Security Council.
The first, second and third things you should ask when there is an attack or collapse or discord in an oil-based state (Iraq, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, usw.) is, how does this benefit Iran? Iran knows that the oil weapon works. Destablizing energy markets by hiring surrogates to scare the price of oil upward serves the empire-building plans of Iran and threatens the strength and unity of the US and its allies.
Reports indicate that the Samarra bombing was done by a demolitions team that was inside the mosque up to 48 hours before the detonation. The explosives were arranged to collapse the dome while leaving the critical tombs of the Eleventh and Tenth Imams unharmed — since damage to the grandfather and father of the invisible Twelfth Imam (who will return on Judgment Day) does not advance the Shia apocalypticism preached in Tehran. Instead, the damage is arranged to show a frightening image of sacrilege on the videos and stills, aiding the provocateurs throughout the Shia regions of the ummah.
The coordinated Shia-based assaults on hundreds of Sunni mosques that followed was directed by Iranian agents or fellow travelers. Signals source suspects the Iranians are using captured Salafists from Pakistan, men who are devoted to murdering Shia. These surrogates are captured by Iranian forces while en route to Iran and given a stark choice: conduct this murder campaign or we will just kill you where you hang.
The Shia attack on the Sunnis is the continuation of a thousand-year-old sectarian war. Saddam Hussein's regime interrupted the fight in Iraq. Now the Shia dogs of war are loose.
Note that Mookie Sadr was in Beirut when the detonation triggered the so-called spontaneous lynch mobs. Sadr was put on an aircraft filled with special operations teams from Shia HizbAllah, along with communications and intelligence equipment to be used in the weeks ahead.
Tehran commands the civil war. Tehran commands the Shia agents who will now seek to murder all Sunni elements who resist a Shia-dominated Islamic Republic in Baghdad.
My first summary of this offensive is that Iran is committed to the domination of the ummah, and that means destruction of the US in Iraq first, followed by the destruction of Israel in total. This is not the same as saying that Iran can achieve its war aims. But until the US national security apparatus assembles the fleet for joint operations against Tehran, these are threatening, doom-filled days.