Political Observation - Escalation between Iran and America

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Escalation between Iran and America

The US administration and the Iranian government have brought down the curtain on the tense situation after they had both corroborated their positions vis-à-vis the issue of the dispute, namely Iran’s role in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, which America seeks to restrain.

As for the Gulf region, America and Iran remain in agreement on the Iranian role towards it, namely continuing to play the role of the scarecrow that compels the Gulf States to seek the help of the US. This is conspicuously corroborated by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who expressed his satisfaction and his backing of the Saudi war on Yemen which, according to him, yields billions of dollars to the US treasury and by the comments directed at Donald Trump, reminding him that the US did not react to the Iranian attack on Saudi refineries in the same way she acted to deter Iran in respect of her conduct in Iraq and Lebanon. Hence, it is imperative to distinguish between Iran’s approved role in the Gulf and her disruptive role in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. 

In this context, it is imperative to note that from the onset, and as we previously stated, the issue is merely an action and a reaction. The action was initiated by the US through stifling economic sanctions on Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and igniting the popular protests in Iraq and Lebanon with the aim of expelling Iran from the decision-making circles dominated by her surrogates and shifting their loyalties towards the regional solution. This prompted Iran to resort to trickery and to incite the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) to provoke the US by attacking the K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk and killing a US contractor in order to provoke a response from the US and exploit it to curb the popular protests and immunise her men in the Iraqi and Lebanese governments against downfall. And as the situation escalated with the besieging of the US embassy in Baghdad and its negative impact on US leaders, Donald Trump seized the opportunity to score an electoral point, even if it meant hindering the popular protests for a short while; he however remained confident that his intention to tighten economic sanctions would take care of reigniting the protests once again. 

It is true Iran exploited the event of assassinating Soleimani well and seemed to emerge victorious despite conducting herself according to the rules of the game and within the boundaries set by the US, however, she will be unable to continue controlling Iraq and Lebanon under the severe economic sanctions imposed on all of them; she will instead succumb to the pressure and accept the lifeline thrown by Donald Trump during his speech. 

Irrespective of whether the Iranian retaliation had been prearranged between America and Iran through contacts via the Swiss chargé d’affaires to Tehran or other intermediaries, or otherwise, it was however undoubtedly a programmed response designed to seal off the file of Soleimani’s assassination which made Iran’s response to save face before her masses and surrogates in the region unavoidable. This was clearly reflected in the statement of foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who announced the end of the operation for Iran, and in Donald Trump’s statement who said that everything was fine; in other words, the issue was subjected to an approach that neither affected Trump’s popularity nor dented Iran’s pride, and fulfilled an instant interest for both parties. America has not abandoned Iran’s functional role of a scarecrow for the region with an alternative enemy instead of “Israel”. In fact America is set to exploit the Iranian response to deepen the conviction of the people of the region and Europe of the Iranian threat and the importance of the American umbrella and deterrent force, and to sell more weapons to the Gulf States and inflict Europe with further financial burdens to protect the region via NATO; this is why Donald Trump reminded Europe that America did not need Middle East oil and why the Europeans were eager to maintain the nuclear deal and seek a de-escalation with Iran.

Hence, the recent events were designed to tackle Iran’s breaches of her functional role especially by the conservative camp, in addition to Donald Trump and the Iranian regime’s investment in the consequences of the event for a host of narrow interests and in the requirements of the event itself. It seems the retaliatory strikes executed by Iran against the two US bases in Iraq had been prearranged by both sides; this agreement came in the context of trading the silence over the assassination of Soleimani with a lacklustre response in exchange for negotiating with America over the nuclear program and the outstanding files between the two sides. Donald Trump tweeted a few hours after the assassination of Soleimani that “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!” and after the prearranged missile attack on the two US bases, Trump informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that he was ready to negotiate with Iran. 

It is deplorable to see Iran and her surrogates in the region act as lions against their Muslim brethren, shedding their blood with an unprecedented savagery and barbarism, as if they were their arch enemies, while trumpeting their loyalty to Islam, and forsake the real vengeance from the enemies of Allah, the American Kuffar; after they made such a big fanfare, their response was tame and a source of tranquillity for the “Great Satan”. 

13 Jumada al-Oolah 1441h
8 January 2020