By Kam Zarrabi
It didn't require a crystal ball to predict that some false-flag incident might escalate tensions in the current display of hostilities between Iran and the United States or its regional allies. That was why in the final paragraph in my previous article I cautioned Iran to "...create closer dialog with the Arab counterparts to watch out for deliberate accidents that might ignite the powder keg and destroy both nations."
Well, the incident happened the day after my post on Payvand, as it was obvious something like that would take place sooner or later, and likely would be repeated in days or weeks to come.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameneh'i, announced the other day that there would be no war between the United States and the Islamic Republic; again something that I also mentioned in the opening paragraph of the said article, that "With all the muscle-flexing and tough talk about the United States preparing for a war against Iran, I do not believe for a second that either the US or Israel would start such a war." And, Iran initiating aggressions to ignite the regional powder keg would be unthinkable, as the leadership is not comprised of a bunch of suicidal maniacs.
The real maniac, John Bolton, whose deployment of the American naval task force to the Middle East to confront Iran's purported increasingly aggressive posture against Americans and allies has also been brought under scrutiny, not only by the top British commanding general in the region, but by America's own Democrat, as well as Republican law makers in Washington who are demanding more transparency of the "intelligence" regarding the claimed threats.
There appears to be a developing rift between Bolton and his boss who, not from the kindness of his heart or any humanitarian feelings, but simply for his concerns about the war-weary public's opinion come the next elections, thinks Bolton has been too eager to start yet another war in that region. The maniac, Bolton, has already pissed off the Secretary of State, Pompeo, another war hawk, for bypassing his authority, as well as the Pentagon Chief's, by the deployment of the forces to the Middle East.
The media, meanwhile, seem as clueless as the President in reporting the unfolding events. As is so typical of the MSM, half-truths, misinformation and exaggeration characterize their reportage. We keep hearing that the aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln, as well as B52 strategic bombers have been deployed to the Persian Gulf to confront Iran, just in case. But we never hear where these bombers are stationed or where exactly is the naval taskforce.
To be in the Persian Gulf proper, these ships would have had to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, defying the warnings and potential threats voiced by the IRGC, now branded by the United States as a terrorist organization. But no; rather than provoking a potentially disastrous episode, they are safely positioned in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea! Smart thinking by the US defense strategists who don't welcome getting into a new war; and neither does Iran.
We also hear that satellite pictures taken over the Persian Gulf show missiles being loaded onto Iranian boats patrolling the waters off the Iranian coast. Wow! What a horrible surprise that is supposed to be! What the hell were we expecting: an enemy's armada has approached the Persian Gulf accompanied by stern warnings and outright threats, and the IRGC preparing for any eventuality by arming its defenses against these provocations is an alarming surprise?
There should be no doubt that there exist lines of communication between the IRGC and Pentagon behind the scenes in order to avoid a real confrontation. The Arab Emirates have already backed off from accusing Iran for the attack on the ships belonging to the Saudis in the Persian Gulf.
Well, the attack might have been carried out by the Yemeni Houthis allied with Iran, or some other rogue element, if not by the Grand Masters of false-flag operations in the region.
If Iran were to be held responsible for any act of sabotage in the Persian Gulf area, Iraq, or elsewhere by groups associated with the Iranian government or the IRGC, whether the Shi'a militia in Iraq or Syria, the Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Shi'a Houthis of Yemen, assumption must be made that Iran has total control over the actions of its friends and allies in the region. Based on such an assumption, Iran should be able to prevent its friends and allies from carrying such acts that would provide pretext for its enemies to start a war. But does Iran truly want a war with the United States, Israel or the Gulf Arab states? Obviously not.
Then, simple logic tells us that any friend or ally of Iran, knowing that Iran does not want a new war of devastation upon its soil, would not engage in any covert or overt act of sabotage that could go against the interests of its friend and benefactor.
However, rogue elements or extremists do exist there as well, very much like our own John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, who want to pursue their own destructive agendas with or without permission or approval from above! I am sure responsible people in both Iran and the United States are well aware of all that. Even well-known hawks in both countries have voiced concerns over the ugliness of a war between the two states.
The nutcase Bolton, robotic Pompeo and even the sleaze-bag Rudy Giuliani might be replaced to accommodate the President's public image. But it is likely that another ambitious nutcase, such as the young Senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, might replace John Bolton. Cotton, a well-known Iran-hater and a veteran of Iraq war once said during a Senate hearing that, to paraphrase, the only role of the IRGC in Iraq was to kill Americans!! He is an ambitious politician with sights set on higher places, but he is not an idiot to not know that without the IRGC the war against ISIS and Al Qa'eda, both Iran's enemies, could not have been won!
It is so interesting that in most televised interviews with the so-called experts on the Middle East affairs, even those who side for a reasoned, cautious approach to Iran, or those who are critical of the US administration's reneging on the Nuclear agreement, often end by making the required remark: "...even though they (the Iranians) have been up to no good and have been destabilizing the region." Just to stay on the safe side of politics.
Will this tug-of-war ultimately bring the Iranian leadership to the negotiating table with the self-proclaimed genius negotiator, Trump, as he actually expects? The answer in my opinion is NO! At least not until he dismounts his high horse, stops the good-cop/bad-cop charade that he and Bolton have been engaging in, and shows a bit of respect and humility in dealing with a competitor rather than an underling. But, since he lacks any knowledge of history and geography, these requirements are not in his tool bag, and it is, as he would tweet, sad!
For now at least, the dogs of war seem to be on a leash. Even though the
policy of trying to change the Iranian regime's behavior has been
effectively altered to the policy of regime change, both the US President
and Iran's Supreme Leader have expressed their views that war between the two
countries is not in the making.
About the author:
Kambiz Zarrabi has devoted the last thirty-some years teaching, lecturing and writing about US/Iran relations. Previous to his retirement, his career included working as geologist/geophysicist in the oil and minerals exploration industries with American and Iranian firms and in the private sector. His tenure included serving at Iran's Ministry of Economy as the Director General of Mines in the late 60s and early 70s. He received his college education at the University of California in Los Angeles, graduating in 1960.
... Payvand News - 05/17/19 ... --