How Close Are We To A War On Iran?

By Robert Inlakesh

Last Wednesday, the US government decided to take its sanctions war on Iran to the next level, targeting Chinese and Emirati firms that allegedly help in facilitating Tehran’s oil sales in Asia. As Doha-centered talks continue in an attempt to revive the Iran nuclear deal, this move seemingly has the potential of either leading to escalation or working to force a revival of the Obama-era deal. This being said, just how close are we to seeing a war with Iran?

The US Biden administration has just employed hardline tactics against Iran, sanctioning companies from the United Arab Emirates, China and elsewhere, which the Treasury Department has accused of facilitating Iranian firms transferring oil to East Asia. The US government claims that a web of Gulf-based front companies are being used to help the Iranians make hundreds of millions in petroleum and petrochemical sales.

Although the “sanctions war”, as Iran describes it, already heavily restricts the potential for economic growth and prosperity inside the Islamic Republic, causing immense suffering for many lower-income Iranian workers, the way that Washington can make things a whole lot worse is punishing Tehran’s partners. The ability of the Iranian State to circumvent US sanctions in order to make some sales is largely what enables the country to stay afloat, and now the Biden administration is taking the next steps to limit even that. Make no mistake, this is a hardline tactic that will result in a lot of suffering for average Iranians, hence, if pursued to the maximum extent, this policy may well produce extreme reactions.

For over a year in Vienna, Austria, the United States and the Islamic Republic engaged in round after round of indirect talks, attempting to revive the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, but to no avail. In February, it seemed hopeful for a short period of time that a return to the deal was possible and, at times, it even looked to be just around the corner. In the advent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, the prospects seemed much more dim. Now, the nuclear deal talks have been moved to the Qatari capital, Doha.

The Doha talks have only led to further bickering between the two sides, with the US refusing to deliver on many key demands made by Tehran. The Western media are now following along with the opinions offered by the US government, which have accused Iran of asking for “too much” outside the alleged confines of the nuclear deal. Yet we haven’t actually heard what these new demands are and, hence, can’t really make our own minds up on their seriousness. What is interesting, however, is that the latest sanctions carried out by the Biden administration are being characterized by all corporate Western media outlets as being geared towards pressuring Iran into reaching a revival of the nuclear deal. Yet, when Iran carries out its own countermeasures, which do not have the joint function of murdering US civilians by proxy — as the US sanctions kill Iranians — they are condemned as taking extremist approaches. In reality, Iran is in a tit-for-tat battle with the United States, and its ally Israel, as we speak; a battle in which Tehran is being hit much harder.

Iran suffers the constant tightening of sanctions, espionage, spying, subversion, and assassinations of its military figures and scientists, yet has not once responded by escalating to the same extent. Even following the assassination of Iran’s top General, Qassem Soleimani, the ballistic missile strike that was launched by the IRGC against the US base at Ain Al-Asad, in Iraq, was not a declaration of war in the way the US drone assassination of Soleimani was. Israel assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, facing no retaliation from Tehran. Israel’s latest assassination of a high ranking member of Iran’s Quds force sparked open threats of an imminent retaliation, which is likely to come soon, but did not see an immediate and irrational response, indicating Tehran’s strategic savvy.

Israeli reports have now alleged that Iran is operating four types of naval boats in the Red Sea, capable of threatening Tel Aviv’s stability, fearing potential attacks on Israel or Israeli interests in the area. Iranian State TV also announced, this Wednesday, that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had detained a number of foreigners, including a top British diplomat named Giles Whitaker. The arrests were said to have been made on espionage grounds as a group of three foreigners had allegedly taken samples from a restricted area where missile tests were being conducted. These two developments speak to the fact that an escalation between Tehran and the West is very much ongoing.

Perhaps the most frightening prospect, however, is the announcement that through President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East later this month, he will attempt to lay the ground work for a “Middle East NATO”. Tel Aviv has already announced its favoring of a pact with regional countries, friendly to the West, which would work together to form an anti-Iran air defense alliance. If such an alliance is formed, which could include Saudi Arabia according to reports, then this would certainly indicate Washington’s intention to turn towards non-diplomatic options when it comes to Iran. The current US Middle East policy makes little sense for preserving US dominance and actually looks like a strategy for causing an uncontrolled chaos in many areas of the Middle East and Northern Africa.

If the Iran Nuclear Deal is not revived, there are only two options left for Washington, war or sanctions. However, Tehran will not simply sit by and allow the United States to cripple its economy, enabling the Mossad, MI6, and CIA to continue to assassinate even more high ranking Iranians — it will begin to take matters into its own hands. As for the US allied Arab regimes, they will have to learn the hard way; that if you allow Washington and Tel Aviv to dictate your policy, you will experience just how poorly they will perform at defending your nation, as the UAE did earlier this year when it got hit by rounds of drones and missiles from Yemen.

Due to changing international dynamics, including the severing of most relations between the West and Russia, Iran has many more options than it did at the beginning of this year. The power of the US empire is seriously diminishing and an aggressive posture taken towards Iran at this time of weakness may be a huge mistake on the part of policy makers in Washington. So, will we see a new war against Iran? Yes, but through proxy, and perhaps we will see limited exchanges between Tehran and Tel Aviv. There is no way of the United States or Israel launching an all out war against Iran at this stage without Israel ceasing to exist as a result of it. Tehran is a regional military powerhouse and would easily lay waste to Israel, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and others. Therefore the strategy from the US will be to wage proxy wars, escalate in smaller ways, and initiate limited exchanges of fire, this is the only way to deal with Iran militarily. However, if Tehran chooses to go further, what is the West’s contingency plan? The answer is, the pro-Western allies are screwed.

Source: The Last American Vagabond

Robert Inlakesh is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, Middle-East analyst & news correspondent for The Last American Vagabond.

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