There has been an alarming escalation of tensions in the Arabian Gulf region over an increasingly possible showdown between Iran and the United States. Though both countries claim not to be interested in war, fears persist as the US, which already maintains a cluster of military bases across the region continues to deploy more warplanes and warships and other military hardware, while Iran deploys boat-mounted missile launchers, units of anti-aircraft artillery and other heavy-duty military equipment and weapons.
The situation began to steadily deteriorate following the US unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers i.e. US, Russia, UK, China, France and Germany. Under the agreement, Iran agreed to scale down its nuclear program in return for lifting the UN-imposed economic sanctions on it.
Though Russia and China are traditional allies of Iran, yet the deal wouldn’t have been reached if not for the particular interest that the then Iran-friendly US President Barack Obama showed in it. Equally, the influential pro-Iranian lobby in Washington was hugely instrumental in securing the endorsement of US Congress and other influential officials in the Obama administration.
Besides, apparently many French, German and British manufacturing and service delivery companies, which have always been eager to access Iranian markets with their goods and services had equally lobbied their respective governments for the deal.
However, Arab countries particularly the Arabian Gulf states e.g. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait were never comfortable with the deal. Having believed that Iran is actually only hell-bent on obtaining a nuclear weapon to use it as a tool to bully them into submission to its hegemony, they all along suspected a hidden motive when not even a single Arab country was included in the deal negotiation process.
They also alleged that some terms of the deal were deliberately vaguely drafted to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon after ten years i.e. in 2025. Their suspicions grew further when it was subsequently revealed that the parties to the deal had reached an unwritten agreement to keep some terms of the deal confidential. Interestingly, Arab countries accuse President Obama of being too biased against them in their struggle against Iran’s hegemonic agenda in the region.
Anyway, following his withdrawal from the deal, President Trump imposed a ban on Iranian oil exports then withdrew the temporary waivers he had granted to Japan, India, China, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, Greece and South Korea to buy Iranian oil, even before the expiry of the waivers period. He also threatened to punish any European company dealing with Iran by banning it in US markets.
President Trump also maintains that for these sanctions to be lifted, Iran must agree to renegotiate the nuclear deal, and comply with some twelve preconditions he issued, which include the need for it to stop sponsoring its many terror groups causing havoc across the Middle-East.
With these measures, President Trump has deprived Iran of an opportunity to benefit economically from the nuclear deal. Because obviously without Euro-American technology, strategic industrial products and financial transaction platforms, Iran cannot revive its crumbling economy. Its Russian and Chinese allies cannot provide it with reliable alternatives.
Under growing pressure, Iran threatens to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which falls within its territorial waters, and through which more than one-third of global crude oil supply passes. The current increased US military activities in the region are designed to deter Iran any attempt to obstruct vessel traffic flow through the channel.
It’s, however, important to note that America’s established policy on Iran is to never engage it in a full-scale war even though its military is obviously strong enough to rout Iran’s military and overthrow its regime. The US successive administrations over the decades have apparently allowed Iran to continue threatening the rich Arabian Gulf countries, so as to keep them feeling perpetually vulnerable and in need of US protection, which necessarily means constant sales of the expensive US weapons and military hardware in the region. However, with an anti-establishment and indeed unpredictable President currently in the White House, no one can predict what would happen this time around.
In any case, unless President Trump decides to break this established policy, the scenario of the looming US-Iran clash would only involve some US air and ballistic missile strikes on some selected military targets and infrastructure in some Iranian cities. Iran would equally fire missiles into Arabian Gulf states especially UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which is already vowing to retaliate. Of course, Iran would also issue orders to its sponsored terror organizations e.g. Hezbollah in Lebanon, Al-Hashd-al-sha’aby in Iraq, Fadimiyyoon in Syria and Houthi in Yemen etc., to intensify their subversive attacks across the region.
Iran would also seek to attract Muslims’ sympathy through its propaganda techniques. Many gullible Muslims would fall for it and pray for her victory. Whereas, neither the United States nor Iran deserves Divine Victory in the looming war between them, for it’s actually a war between two evil bullies, only that one is suite-dressed and the other is turbaned, i.e. President Donald Trump of the United States, and Ali Khamenei, the so-called Waliyyul-Faqeeh and purported deputy of the fictitious Mahadi character, and the Supreme Leader of Iran, respectively.
Because while the former is hell-bent on consolidating America’s global economic and military hegemony, the latter is relentlessly pursuing a neo-Persian hegemonic agenda deceitfully disguised in Islamic clothing, with a view to bringing all Arab and Muslim countries under the control of the theocratic dictatorship of Wiliyatul-Faqeeh. In a war of this nature, the stronger always prevails.