|Persian Sandwich: Some bases gone but you get the picture|
Iran has red lines of its own to watch out for, yet they never seem to breach them per the media nor respond to US and Israeli antagonism. If their is a mutual defense treaty, Iran would have obligations that they would have to fulfill. Treaties have been broken, yet Britain went to war with a backdoor excuse of an old document protecting Belgium. Iran does not have to fulfill their obligations, but such a breach would hurt its reputation with the countries that it does have overt relations with as well as covert. Sensing a slouching US, how many Latin American nations have flirted with Iran? Iran leaving a regional ally to the Western and Sunni wolves would hurt their efforts elsewhere with nations with which they have fewer religious and blood ties. How much support and how much offense can Iran provide to Syria's efforts without incurring the military wrath of the US? That is unknown, but what margin for error does anyone have vs. the American leviathan in 2013?
One tactic that Iran and Syria may deploy would be a blockade or even just a minor disruption of the Strait of Hormuz tanker traffic. The US military has warned Iran in the past that this would be considered an act of war. This would not technically be an attack on the US, but it would hurt the West where its citizens feel it quickest and sharpest, the gas pump. With an American public against intervention in Syria already, they could turn even faster against the elements than talked Congress into it or sold everyone on surgical strikes with gas well over $4 a gallon. The American foreign policy farce would then continue as our political class would try to justify a war over high gas prices and a closed water passage due to their original meddling. Washington DC and the complicit media would do their best to sell America on that. The US political class is often disingenuous with their methods but always with their motives. Even if they are discussing Syria, keep an eye out on what is mentioned on the Iranian front. Punching Syria to get any Iranian response to justify an American counterattack on Iran might be just what American generals are waiting for this fall.