Bolton’s Sinister Dream: a War Against Iran

The Washington Post has taken a stand on the Iranian crisis with an editorial which urges president Trump to put his guns back into the holster and “take a diplomatic way out”.
The increasing tensions with Iran, writes the WP with reference to the declarations made by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, could lead to conflict or to renuclearization on the part of Teheran.

Iran’s growing threat: Fake news

The danger, writes the WP, is a result of the Trump’s administration’s escalation of pressure against Teheran: “A policy with no evident end goal and thus no plausible positive outcome.” The pressure is totally unjustified, as Helene Cooper and Edward Wong explain in the New York Times: the official motivation of a growing threat from Iran and its regional allies, (Hezbollah and Houthi) has been disproved by British general Chris Ghika, deputy commander of the international coalition against Islamic State.

The situation has also been confirmed by a US official consulted by the NYT who defined the growing Iranian threat as “small stuff”, which “did not merit the military planning being driven by Mr. Bolton” (120,000 soldiers to be dispatched to the Middle East).

“Intelligence and military officials in Europe as well as in the United States,” continues the NYT, “said that over the past year, most aggressive moves have originated not in Tehran but in Washington, where John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, has prodded President Trump into backing into a corner.”

A senseless slaughter

What’s more a conflict, the WP goes on to comment, would not obtain any of the objectives which the US hawks are aiming at (officially), that is a regime-change and a complete stop to Iran’s nuclear program, “short of a full-scale military invasion,” an option which does not have the consensus of citizens in the US and in European countries.

The forces pushing a reluctant Trump in this direction are prevalently John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. According to the NYT this is taking place through a series of moves which risk pushing the US into a conflict even before “the President realizes it.”

What makes the scenario even more risky are the strong ties the US administration has suggested between Iran and its alleged regional “proxies,” a conclusion which makes Teheran responsible for their actions. This is not only true of Hezbollah, but also of the Houthi forces, – opposing the authority of Riad ed Abu Dhabi in the war in Yemen – even if ties between the latter and Iran are in fact “murky” (NYT).

Such ties, Bolton declares, “Leave open the possibility that a Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia or the U.A.E […] could set off an American military assault against Iran,“ continues the New York Times. The casus belli could easily occur seeing as the Yemenite rebels have on numerous occasions attacked these Countries in response to the bombings suffered (for example the attack on a Saudi oil facility on the 14th of May).

A return to diplomacy

“The way out is to return to diplomacy,” concludes the WP, “In concert with European allies. The president should curb his hawkish aides and take that course before it is too late.”
Indeed, it is obvious to all that Trump is suffering the assertiveness of the hawks. But in order to free himself of their grip he needs a shore: internally but also externally.

From here the importance of Mr Pompeo’s visit to Russia on the 14th of May, where he met President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi on May 14, 2019.

The U.S. Secretary of State told Putin that Trump “wants to do everything he can” to re-establish ties with Russia, “and he asked me to travel here to communicate that,” inviting the Russian President to meet his American counterpart. Putin said he was willing to do so. (Reuters).

For its part Iran said it is ready for all scenarios, military or diplomatic, therefore leaving open the option of a peaceful resolution to the crisis. (Reuters). And in this tumultuous time, the Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s spiritual leader, pronounced surprising words: “This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war. Neither we nor them [the US ed.] seek war.” (Timesofisrael). However the risk of an incident occurring remains high.

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