Tensions escalated rapidly between the United States and Iran after an American drone was shot down by Iranian forces in the Middle East. Political experts are not expecting it to lead to an outright military conflict. After the Trump administration’s decision last year to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, relations between the two countries have deteriorated significantly. Since then, Washington has imposed sanctions on Iran’s vital oil sector, aimed at crippling the Islamic Republic’s economy. The New York Times reported that in response to the U.S. drone attack, Trump approved military strikes against Iranian targets but later withdrew from launching the planned attacks. ‘The dispatch of the warship to the Gulf follows reports of a possible attack on US forces, according to Reuters quoting an unnamed US official. As per the BBC report ‘The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.’
This Iran-American tension in the atmosphere is more than just statements as what happened to four commercial vessels near the port of Fujairah in the UAE and the attack on the vital Saudi oil facilities. However, with all this tension in the Gulf, which suggests that the war is at the door, the statements of both sides, America and Iran, give another picture that the war is excluded! Trump said in a press statement on Thursday, at the White House, in response to a question on whether the United States intends to wage war on Iran: "I hope it does not happen." The New York Times stated on Thursday, quoting unnamed officials in the US administration - President Donald Trump has told acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that he does not want to go to war with Iran.
Iran's supreme leader Ali Khomeini said ‘We are not seeking war, nor are they seeking it.’ Defense Secretary, Patrick, told a news conference that the US administration's goal of strengthening its military presence in the Arabian Gulf is ‘deterring acts not going to war. There are many other official statements from both sides which convey the same massage. These American and Iranian statements indicate that what the media is reporting about a major American-Iranian war is uncertain. What the Iranian leader’s statement to his people that Iran is neither seeking war nor America is seeking it, is the strongest.
The US pressure on Iran and the denial of oil exports will raise the price of oil globally and America will benefit from it, as the increase in the price of oil is suitable for the cost of production of shale oil, the International Energy Agency talks about the aggravation of ‘confusion in the outlook for supply’ of oil, and it talks about America’s ability to compensate the reduction of Iran’s and Venezuela’s exports. Most importantly, oil prices are rising as US tension threatens to sabotage oil tankers and oil facilities. There is no doubt that America sees this tension as a benefit to its oil companies, especially in light of the business thinking that dominates the Trump administration.
The signing of a new nuclear agreement with Iran guarantees the lion's share to the American companies in the Iranian market. It is well known that America is playing an open game with Iran in order to sign a new nuclear agreement with it, including its missile program and its influence in the region.US secretary of state, Pompeo conveyed a message to Tehran that the United States was not keen on the war and that all Trump wanted was a new nuclear deal - An agreement that he can attribute to himself. Furthermore, there is a process of forming a US-Arab coalition that would include a Jewish entity against Iran. This is clearly manifested in the position of the Jewish entity. On the backdrop of tension in the Gulf, the prime minister of the Jewish entity, in the presence of US Ambassador Friedman, said, ‘There is a new efflorescence, a new renaissance of relations between us and many of our Arab neighbors, and many non-Arab Muslim countries. We are united in our desire to stop Iranian aggression. We have to keep on strengthening the State of Israel and keep on strengthening the indispensable alliance with America.’ Saudi Press Agency reported the meeting was held with the high participation of Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The meeting, it explained is an important step in the process of launching this alliance, which aims to enhance security and stability in the region and the world.
Therefore, the process of building this military alliance is in full swing. The joy of the Jewish entity of the security coordination with Arab and Islamic countries against Iran means that the Jewish entity is involved in those American deliberations with these rulers, but without a declaration. Its announcement may be delayed till after America’s plan for peace, with the most important article being the normalization of the Gulf rulers with the Israel.
The escalation of events and tensions in the atmosphere is not a prelude to a comprehensive war between America and Iran, but is likely to achieve some political goals for America and its allies. This does not prevent limited short strikes from taking place to save the face of the parties to lift the embarrassment because of their inflammatory movements and their statements of threat, intimidation, deterrence and behavior change.
(Author is a Teacher in Dept of Education)