Major General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, said on Wednesday, “We are on the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy,” The current Arab Gulf tensions started when Pres. Trump pulled out of the Iran deal, and put more sanctions on Iran.
Pres. Trump and his team, Sec. of State Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, all insist they do not want a war with Iran, but want a new deal with Iran, which meets the 12 conditions demanded of Iran by the U.S., which are so stringent that Iran views them as unacceptable.
Iran, in turn, escalated the situation by announcing it would pull out of the nuclear deal it was still complying with. Saudi Arabia and Israel, who are strategic allies in the Middle East, and are both close allies of the U.S., don’t want a new deal with Iran.
In the recent Fujairah port attack on 4 ships, 2 of which were Saudi oil tankers, investigators have yet to name who is responsible. Surprisingly, there was no oil leakage and not much damage. The culprit wanted a small attack, which didn't leave ‘fingerprints' or great damage to the environment or property.
This mysterious culprit never announced responsibility for the attack, which is in stark contrast to the later drone attack on Saudi Arabia, in which the Yemeni Resistance quickly announced their responsibility. Criminal investigators are asking: who would benefit the most from a small attack, which could push the U.S. into a military reaction against Iran? The Iranian Parliament accused the Israeli occupation of carrying out the Fujairah attack.
The attacks at Fujairah and Saudi Arabia highlights how easy it is to cause disruption and chaos in the Straits of Hormuz, which is the leading shipping lane of petroleum products to the world’s consumers. In response to that small attack, the world’s oil prices rose by 1%.
The Yemeni resistance recently attacked multiple locations inside Saudi Arabia, and even in very sensitive areas near the capital. This destructive attack on petroleum production facilities prompted an official to admit the regional and international security defenses are weak and ineffective. The terrorists who currently occupy Idlib in Syria have repeatedly used drones to attack the airport in Jeblah, which is home to the Russian air force. However, the Russian and Syrian air defenses were able to repel the drones.
Sec. Pompeo tested the waters with the EU and found they are not in favor of war and are still bitterly reminded of following blindly the U.S. lead into the Iraq war, which turned out to be based on lies and false intelligence. The U.S. insists they have intelligence reports suggesting Iran may attack the U.S. military in the region, and specific accusations against an Iraqi militia, who are allied with Iran.
This prompted the highest ranking British officer, headquartered in Iraq and working closely with the Iraqi militia accused by the U.S., to issue an official statement that he sees no threat. The U.S. officials were quick to refute his claims but without evidence.
In the U. S. we observe disunity even within the White House. Pompeo and Bolton say one thing, and Pres. Trump disputes them. The messages are constantly changing, and the U.S. Congress presents a similar story, with some in favor of war, and others demanding restraint and diplomacy. In Tehran, we see a unity of policy and statements. They do not want war, but they will not negotiate away their right to self-defense. Specifically, they will not agree to any new deal which takes away their ballistic missiles stockpile, and their leader compared it to committing suicide.
There are similarities in the Arab Gulf proxy war with the U.S., China, and North Korea situation. Pres. Trump has started a trade war with China, which now includes a ban on Huawei technology, accusing it of possible future espionage capabilities. The recent North Korean missiles launches were China’s message to the White House, delivered via Pyongyang.
CNBC stated the stock-market loss because of the U.S.-China trade war is currently at 1.1 trillion dollars. In the case of the U.S. versus Iran, it is an economic war, depending on sanctions that prevent Iran from selling its oil, which is its main resource. In the case of the U.S. versus China, it also falls under the heading of an economic war, of which a trade war is a variation.
Pres. Trump is now juggling many dangerous situations. In a 2015 interview about the concepts in his book, “The Art of the Deal”, Donald Trump explained: to make the deal you want, you must come from a position of strength and convince the other side that you have something they need. The world waits to see what he can offer.