18.02.2020 Author: Viktor Mikhin

Iran – USA: Aggressive American Politics


US President Donald Trump is not loosening his chokehold grip in his attempts to strangle the Iranian people.  It all started with America’s completely unjustified withdrawal from the so-called Iran nuclear deal, which had been signed by the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. As usual, Washington then resorted to using force to achieve its overtly unfriendly objectives. American drones designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) have been flown into Iranian airspace on multiple occasions. However, they have not been let get away with their tricks, and a modern US drone worth several million dollars was shot down.

Iran had been hit with an added system of inhumane sanctions, which have been carefully thought out with the sole purpose of bringing the Iranians to their knees. The current sanctions even include a ban on the supply of vital medicine, medical devices and modern medical equipment, which make it impossible to deliver effective treatment. The supply of equipment for perinatal medical centers has also been sanctioned. The sanctions ultimately restrict the means available to fight the coronavirus, yet so far the Iranians have managed to defend themselves from all the attempts being made by certain forces to bring this new plague to their country.

We should also not forget the murder of the Iranian Major General QasemSoleimani in Iraq, a provocative act which the Iranians immediately responded to by bombing two American military bases. According to the latest data, more than 100 American soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries in the attack, even though the Americans had received prior warning from the Iraqi side and knew the attack was going to take place.

Using force against Iran has therefore not generated any tangible profits for the US, on the contrary, it has exposed Washington as an aggressor and a violator of international law, rather than a committed permanent member of the UN Security Council that fulfills its responsibilities to secure peace and comply with international law.

But the Trump administration does not stop at what has been “achieved”, and keeps on coming up with new methods and ways to fight Tehran. This time, the Americans have decided to get the Sunni Arabs involved, traditional enemies of the Shiite Iranians, to carry out their plans for them, putting Israel in charge of the new coalition. According to a report in one of the largest newspapers in the Middle East, World Israel News, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taken on the responsibility for this “act of diplomacy” and he and his team have been kept busy mediating between Israel and Saudi Arabia, pushing the two countries into an alliance against Iran. “In recent days there have been very intensive discussions between Washington, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to arrange a summit meeting in Cairo as early as the coming weeks, even before the election in Israel, which aside from the host, Egypt, will be attended by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and also the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain and Oman,” the Israeli newspaper quotes one of its sources. Jordan has also received an invitation, according to other Arab sources, but Jordan’s King Abdullah wants Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to also get an invitation. The United States has let the King know that these talks are already underway, and that Israel has agreed to having the Palestinians participate at the meeting in Cairo. According to US administration officials, Washington has directly told the Palestinians that “this would likely be Abbas’s and the Palestinians’ last chance to climb down from the tree and partake in the diplomatic developments unfolding in the region.”

This meeting is likely to go ahead, given that the current US administration has held secret meetings with Israeli and Arab representatives on a number of occasions to try and patch up relations between them. In connection with this, it is worth mentioning a very important meeting which was held at the White House between representatives of Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which the newspaper World Israel News reported on. A secret trilateral meeting in December 2019 involving the US, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took place at the White House, with the aim of coordinating moves against Iran, according to Israeli and US officials cited by Israel’s Channel 13 TV and Axios.  The plan for these moves included discussion of a UAE-Israel non-aggression pact as an interim step on the path toward diplomatic normalization. The Israeli delegation to the secret talks was headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat.  The UAE was represented by its ambassador to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba, who is said to be a very close adviser to the UAE’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. The US representation reportedly included National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and his deputy, Victoria Coates, as well as Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran.

Amid the efforts being made by Netanyahu to strengthen a “secret alliance” with the UAE against Iran, Israeli outlets note that the breakthrough happened in February 2019 in Warsaw, during a US-led anti-Iran conference attended by Israel and the Gulf states.   Following the Warsaw conference, the Trump administration took the decision to create a trilateral forum — the US, Israel, and the UAE — to strengthen cooperation against Iran. At least three meetings have taken place over the last year.

One of them was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal: “Netanyahu and the Trump administration want to move this process forward even more.” The news outlet adds that the two leaders are “pushing for non-aggression deals with the UAE and other Gulf states, along with direct flights and public trips by Israeli officials to the Gulf.

Israel confirmed that Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz had visited the UAE and met with a senior Emirati official on the sidelines of a climate conference.  Emirati Minister of State Anwar Mohammed Gargash has predicted a “significant shift” in Israel’s relations with the Arab world in the coming years.  In his opinion, the longstanding boycott of the Jewish State maintained by most nations in the Arab world was a major misstep.

From this perspective, it looks like everything is leading up to the creation of some sort of union or alliance of Arab states led by Israel. If nothing else, this is the plan that Donald Trump is pinning his hopes on, who is banking on the Arab states turning on Iran and its policies in the region.

However, one-sided US moves, unwarranted NATO expansion eastwards, the grave violation of international resolutions, Washington’s imposition of unilateral sanctions, violation of national sovereignty, interference in the domestic politics of other countries, creating new coalitions with aggressive objectives – all this is matter of deep concern for Iran, Russia and other non-aggressor states, concerned with ensuring peaceful development in this turbulent region. Increasing existing cooperation between countries and cooperating with more countries would offer a strategic response to America’s bludgeoning attempts to increase its dominance with further aggression in the Middle East.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciencesexclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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