It’d Be Naïve To Think Iran Will Prove To Be Another Iraq For The US. Here’s Why
Muhammad Hani in this article takes a detailed look into the recent escalation of tensions between the US and Iran.
The Middle East has been in a state of turmoil since the beginning of time. The current bone of contention in the region is the Balfour Declaration of 1917 signed as a consequence of the First World War as Jews from Europe and other parts of the world started penetrating into the Palestinian region. Ever since this agreement, Western countries have always rushed to the aid of Israelis in every conflict with the Arabs. Their efforts have always been supported by the Saudi and Emirati monarchs as well.
Iran, however, has remained a challenge for the Western allies since the 1979 revolution which led to the ouster of Reza Shah Pahlavi. Since then, Iran has suffered from sanctions, encirclement and a diplomatic blockade. During President Barack Obama’s regime, the UN Security Council’s permanent members had signed a nuclear deal with Iran which resulted in softening of the sanctions.
After Donald Trump came to power, he refused to comply with the Iran deal restoring to the same old sanctions formula. However, the US allowed Japan, China, India, the EU and Turkey to continue purchasing oil from Iran for another six months.
Following that, Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz that may choke the oil supply to the US and allies. Additionally, Iran threatened to reinitiate its nuclear programme. The US has a firm stance against Iran. It wants a regime change. Few elements in the US administration are adding oil to the fire. The Islamist regime in Iran however has stood solid despite West’s efforts to destabilise it.
The hawkish elements in the Trump administration like John Bolton, National Security Advisor of Donald Trump, and Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, want to start another war in the Middle East. Pentagon wants to exhibit its muscle in the Middle East. It has sent B-52 (nuclear capable bombs), aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, guided-missile cruisers and four destroyers – the USS Bainbridge, Gonzalez, Mason and Nitze. All are deployed in the US CENTCOM headquarter based in Qatar.
US officials claim that Iran has been propping up its proxies in the Middle East following the US President’s inflexibility on the nuclear deal. The Trump administration also ordered the partial withdrawal of US diplomats from Iraq.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has warned the countries who were earlier allowed to continue purchasing oil against further buying. Furthermore, US administration has urged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries to increase oil supply to meet the demand.
Interestingly, top British general in the US-led coalition against ISIS has said there is no increased threat from Iranian proxies in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military build-up in the region. Ostensibly, US wants to mount pressure to originate war hysteria like it did ahead of the Iraq invasion. The US gave the invasion legitimacy with its propaganda that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Several years later, it turned out to be a lie.
But why is Trump doing it all? If he goes into another misadventure, the ‘America First’ slogan would be clean bowled. Apart from that, Mike Pompeo a week back paid a surprise visit to Iraq. He met Iraq’s premier Adil Abdul Mahdi. According to the media sources, Pompeo told Mahdi to bring Iran on table. The experts on Middle East believe that President Trump wants to sign a nuclear deal that maybe associated with him for the next presidential elections.
Amid the tussle between the US and Iran, media reported that White House has passed a number on to the Swiss authorities in case Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wants to reach out to Donald Trump.
In case of conventional war, it’d turn out to be a slow-motion train wreck for the US-led coalition. Here are two reasons why:
- Key US allies in the Middle East, KSA and UAE, do not have enough military might to support a war effort against Iran. Iranian military training is far superior.
- In Syria, US-led coalition forces failed to oust Basher Al-Assad, Iran supported the Syrian president. Eventually, US had to withdraw from Syria wasting billions of dollars.
Most would consider it stupid to think of Iran winning against the US. Nevertheless, it’d be equally naïve to think that Iran will prove to be another Iraq for the US. Invasion of Iran would have far-reaching consequences, especially on the border countries and the Middle East.
In the meantime, the other signatory powers of the nuclear deal are urging the US and Iran to come back to the table instead of quitting the nuclear deal. Afghanistan is already unmanageable and another war in the region could prove devastating. Both stakeholders must rethink their respective positions because ‘wars never herd solution’.