26 July 2018   2 comments

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that “senior figures in the Turnbull Government have told the ABC they believe the United States is prepared to bomb Iran’s nuclear capability, perhaps as early as next month.”  It is hard to assess this rather dramatic claim.  It is true that the rhetoric between the US and Iran has been quite inflammatory since the US pulled out of the nuclear agreement.  Not only was US President Trump’s all-capitalized tweet highly unusual, but Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is quoted by the BBC that he warned President Trump that “if the US attacks Iran it ‘will destroy all that you possess’.”  But the US has been “preparing” to bomb Iran for many years and it is no secret that Israel has been encouraging such a move.  Nonetheless, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that “National security adviser John Bolton convened a meeting Thursday of Pentagon and other top officials as the Trump administration considers how to flesh out its strategy on Iran.”  The meeting is only the third that Bolton has called in his tenure as National Security Adviser and he had argued  prior to his appointment that the US should attack and overthrow the Iranian government. Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and Saudi Arabia has halted oil shipments through the Red Sea and the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb after it claimed that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked two oil tankers in the Red Sea.

The situation is getting quite serious and no one seems to be willing to stop this train.  But it is clear that both Russia and China will support Iran in any confrontation, and it seems highly unlikely that many European states would support an attack on Iran.

Mona Yacoubian of the US Institute of Peace has written a well-informed essay on the interests of Israel and Iran in Syria.  Since February of this year, Israel has launched a number of armed attacks against Iranian positions in Syria, trying to prevent Iranian influence from growing stronger so close to Israel.  Prior to the Syrian civil war, Iranian influence was most pronounced in Lebanon and was exercised through Hezbollah, an Iranian ally well-positioned in the Lebanese government.  The rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, however, posed a serious problem for Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.  A confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria seems almost inevitable as the Syrian government tries to eradicate the rebels in the southern part of Syria–as the Assad forces get closer to Israel, the Israelis have to figure out who controls Assad in that region which borders the Golan Heights–Russia, which the Israelis would prefer, or Iran, which Israel would consider a serious strategic threat.

Posted July 26, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “26 July 2018

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  1. Awaiting for your comments about the new PM of Pakistan.

    Ali Kazmi

    Treasurer

    Rotary Club of Toronto Bay-Bloor

    1915- 44 St Joseph Street,

    Toronto. ON

    M4Y2W4

    ________________________________

    Like

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