D.Abdul Nasser Almahdawi
New Iraq Centre Advisor
Translated by Shaimaa Shedeed
During last days, the world witnessed escalation between the US and Iran on different levels whether on level of statements or on level of military mobilization, that is deemed to be more critical, or the level of intelligence. Notably, this escalation wasn’t limited to both sides but included the allies in the Middle East. In addition to this, the escalated sanctions against Iran could strongly siege the Iranian economy and affect the internal situation that is already unstable amid increasing opposition. All these factors refer to an inescapable forthcoming confrontation but not necessarily a military confrontation. In fact, it isn’t necessary that all these pressures included the aircraft carriers, terrifying launchers and statements were for military gains. Rather, it meant forcing Iran to come to the negotiations table to discuss a new nuclear agreement matches uncle Sam. Will Iran submit and drink from the poison chalice again? Answer of this question gets the military confrontation from the level of confirmation to level of probability.
In his last press conference in the White House, President Donald Trump appeared willing to reap the fruits of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and of the increased sanctions.
“What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me” said Trump. “What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down and we can make a deal, a fair deal,” he noted, adding “We just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons. It’s not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape.”
Trump also said “I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy. But they should call, and if they do, we’re open to talk to them.”
Anyone follows the incidents will see these statements odd, especially after these incidents synchronized the abrupt visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Iraq after cancelling a visit to Germany and after the US military unprecedented mobilization in the gulf area.
The real reason behind the visit of Pompeo was uncovered by the Israeli Intelligence-backed website Debka. It stated that the US administration sent a direct threat to Iran that in case the Iraqi Hezbollah or the pro-Iran militias attack the US bases in Iraq and Syria, the US will attack the Revolutionary Guard bases. The website also noted that the threats of Asaib Ahlu alHaq (Iraqi pro-Iran militias) to attack US bases should be taken seriously.
Much more serious information stated by the Hebrew website, believed to be related to the Israeli Intelligence, in a previous report that a secret meeting was held at 9:00 o’clock on April 29th in the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley to discuss the situation in Iran. That exceptional meeting was attended by the US Secretary of State, US National Security Advisor, US Secretary of Defence, US Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Director of Central Intelligence Agency and Director of National Intelligence. According to the Israeli website, these kinds of meetings are always held in the White House in Washington, but this meeting specifically wasn’t reported.
Israel is the most fervent side that supports a war breakout in the Middle East, so this Mossad relevant website insisted to hint to an expected strike from the US to Iran or to its proxies in the Middle East when it stated that those who attended that meeting didn’t only refuse to provide details about it but also refused to even announce about it.
No doubt, the war is a destructive decision that may fire the entire Middle East but in fact isn’t strongly expected between both sides who bet on a diplomatic war can lead to a consent will avert both states and the Middle East repercussions and results of a destructive war by every definition. This opinion is supported by the Gulf area that will suffer Iran’s terrorism from a side and the repercussions of such destructive war from another side. According to Saudi writer Khaled Suleiman, all will lose in case a war breaks out in the region as the fragments will hit all and recovery will need years.
In his article titled “Will Iran submit?”, the Saudi writer casted hopes that the US pressures on Iran result in Iran’s submission to negotiations through which both sides can reach a nuclear agreement erasing Iran’s neighbours’ fears of its nuclear program.
According to the Saudi writer point of view about Iran’s submission, “It is just a matter of time.” He believed that the political and media escalation is only for the public show inside Iran and the ideological show for its followers outside. Besides, the writer sees that at the end of the day, Iran realizes that it will be the loser in any war and the Mullah won’t take the risk of losing the power and authority especially if they understand well the story of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with the West. The writer then stated that the US President had mobilized its military ships and air launchers and then put his gun on the table waiting for a call from Iran expressing about its willingness to negotiate for a new nuclear deal assuring its neighbours and removing fears of international community. He finally expected that the US phone is likely to ring, casting hopes the call won’t be for buying time which is best seller in the Iranian bazaar.
Although the Iranian reaction to Trump’s invitation to the negotiations table after a call was negative, still the Iranian officials’ statements are considered only for media and public show. For example, head of foreign policy and national security committee in the Iranian Shura Council commented on Trump’s statement saying no one from Tehran would call him no matter how hard he tried to pass his phone number or increase sanctions. Meanwhile, the parliamentary official said that the US won’t get in a war it will lose and affirmatively told Fars News Agency that no one from Tehran will call Trump. Experts know well that the media statements are most times valueless in comparison to the reality and what really happens and those who are specialized in the Iranian affairs realize well that Iran is good in manoeuvring and that it conceals inside intentions different to what it actually reveals.
According to former Iraqi diplomat Faez Saadoun who worked in the Iranian file worked for more than ten years in the foreign ministry, as long as the Iranian voice raises, it means that the hind communication channels work on full capacity between Iran and relevant sides. According to Saadoun, Trump’s hint that he was waiting for a call from Tehran wasn’t a joke, he and his advisors know well that Rome, Paris and Geneva witnesses tripartite Iranian- US – Israeli meetings tackling files of Afghanistan and Iraq. He also knows well that administration of Bush the son had informed Iran about the war against Iraq even before informing its closest allies in the NATO or the Gulf. He added that while Khalil Zada and Javad Zarif were tackling aspects of cooperation with the US in the post-occupation stage, the regime was pushing people to flock to the streets chanting against the US and Israel. These talks resulted in allowing Iran to occupy a border strip of 40 kilometres inside Iraq, in addition, Iranian Zarif and Israel were behind the idea of dissolution of Iraq and its security and military systems, in return, Iran allowed the US to use its skies in the aggression.
Thus, the US is prominently seeking for making a new nuclear deal with Iran. Nevertheless, there are other demands hidden in that US ice mountain including limiting the Iranian role in the region and reducing the power of its proxies and agents such as in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen in order to guarantee the security of US allies in the region. No interest, neither for the US nor for its allies in the Middle East especially its closest alley the Gulf countries, to keep Iran interfering in its internal files and to stir strife in their states. It is a matter of necessity changing the Iranian behaviour or replacing the current regime with another one lives peacefully with its neighbours.
Finally, the danger and risk are lying in both sides’ preparedness for a violent reaction any time. Actually both sides are on the stand by position and the US is on alert, considering any attacks against its bases in Iraq and Syria by pro-Iran militias even from the ISIS is an action requires a reaction. Iran also is on alert and is threatening and what happened in Emirates’ regional water near alFujairah with the Saudi ships if proved to be by Iran, it will be the first shot in the war according to US ambassador Adam Earli.