A step away from war: what will the conflict between Iran and the United States

В шаге от войны: к чему приведет конфликт Ирана и США

The conflict between the US and Iran, which many were quick to call the beginning of a third world war seems to have reached its peak. In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, Iran launched a missile attack on American bases in Iraq. It happened a few days after the elimination of an Iranian General Kassem Suleimani.

But after these events, the actions and statements of both sides suggest that Washington and Tehran actually looking for a way to save face and avoid getting really large-scale hostilities.

Ukraine was also in the headlines of world news in the context of this conflict. The occasion was the accident flight operated by UIA under the Tehran a few hours after the bombing of the American bases. More – in the material of RBC-Ukraine.

After the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran became one of the most anti-American minded States. Tehran started to claim leadership throughout the Muslim world, reinforcing it with rich reserves of oil and gas, as well as courses to develop nuclear weapons.

The previous President Barack Obama to his main foreign policy achievements took the conclusion in 2015 of the nuclear deal between Iran and the five countries – permanent members of the UN security Council and Germany. Under its terms, Iran has pledged to develop its nuclear program for peaceful purposes under the supervision of the international community, in exchange for step-by-step removal of the country’s economic sanctions.

While the current President of the United States Donald trump criticized the approach of his predecessor, and in may 2018, has announced the release of his country’s agreement with Iran. A year later, Tehran announced a partial withdrawal from the agreement, then the tension in the region gradually began to increase, and the United States began to shift more troops there.

The assassination of General and missile response

A new round of conflict began at the end of 2019, after the Americans launched a series of air strikes on the positions of Iraqi Shiite militant group supported by Iran. In response, the crowd of protesters in Baghdad was stormed the U.S. Embassy, smashed the gates of the institution, and set fire to reception.

USA struck a new, more painful strike on 3 January as a result of the attack from drones to the Baghdad airport was killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. He led an elite unit of the Iranian army responsible for special operations abroad. Washington has officially stated that Soleimani was behind the attack on the American Embassy, were involved in the deaths of hundreds of American troops in the region, as well as allegedly plotting large-scale attacks.

It is these intentions trump called the main reason for the assassination of the Iranian General, members of his administration refused to go into detail, and manifesting intelligence. It was the occasion for criticism from Democrats and opposition-minded American media, which came to the conclusion that trump did not have a clear plan of action against Iran and habitually acted on impulse.

As a source told The Washington Post in the White house, trump allegedly told his advisors that the attack on Sulejmani would be politically popular, but Iran “will not do anything too stupid” response.

A very popular version, the American President decided to use the situation to divert attention from the ongoing impeachment process and to raise the Patriotic mood in society. And against the background of these events, the Democrats with their criticism and accusations against the President and the Supreme commander would look unconvincing.

After the murder Soleimani Washington and Tehran a few days, revealing increased the degree of conflict. Trump in his Twitter said that USA can strike at 52 facilities in Iran, including the “important to the Iranian culture.” 52 a symbolic number, just as many Americans are about one and a half years were taken hostage after the attack on the U.S. Embassy during the Islamic revolution.

Such a threat, more typical of the Taliban or ISIS, stumped even the Pentagon leadership, and apparently was typical for the American President of the Amateur, not the real military plans.

In Iran meanwhile, the brightly painted future act of retaliation for the murder of Soleimani, threatening not only the U.S. but also its allies in the region, primarily Israel (which, however, did not support Washington’s actions). However, the threat to “bulldoze the Israeli city” in Iran are heard regularly from year to year, and almost never are accompanied by real actions.

Retribution is still due five days after the murder Soleimani. And the symbolism of the trump in Iran responded with its symbolism – a rocket attack on two U.S. bases in Iraq was inflicted on the night of 8 January, at exactly the time of day that killed Iranian General.

In the Islamic revolutionary guards Corps stated that as a result of the attack killed about 80 people, but this information, apparently, was aimed at an internal audience. U.S. officials and Iraq said that the attack has no casualties.

Most American political commentators say that Iran is likely, that this was the goal, because the attack was relatively small scale – only two dozen missiles.

But Tehran has shown the world that, in principle, ready for an open attack on American military installations, and jewelry precise, without sacrificing manpower.

“Iran has attended and graduated from proportional measures for self-defence in accordance with article 51 of the UN Charter. We do not seek escalation of the war, but will defend itself against any aggression”, – said shortly after the attack, the Iranian foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

A rather calm tone of this statement contrasts with the ongoing threats from other Iranian top officials to strike at Israel and the United Arab Emirates in the case that the US will strike any counter-attack.

Meanwhile the US is in no hurry to roll out the conflict further, immediate military reaction to the attack on the Iranian followed. “All right!” – so, trump commented on his Twitter account, Recalling that the United States has “the most powerful army in the world”. On Wednesday at a briefing the us President also did not escalate the situation, promising only to strengthen economic sanctions against Iran, but said not a word about any retaliatory military action.

According to CNN, Iran’s actions may well be a ploy – to give Washington a false impression about the weakness of the Iranian armed forces and their inability to put the Americans do a lot of damage. But more priority is another version – the US government and Iran understand that a large-scale war will not benefit neither the one nor the other, and now looking for a way to de-escalate the conflict. Exchange of public statements at the same time, of course, will continue.

The Supreme leader of Iran Ali Khamenei demanded that the American troops were withdrawn from the middle East. First of all, we are talking about Iraq, where the background of all events, the Parliament demanded the withdrawal of the five thousand American troops.

Trump has already stated that it will not do it, though previously, the Pentagon has sent to the Iraqi authorities a letter to the willingness to comply with their demands. However, the White house is called the letter sent by mistake of the draft.

The Ukrainian trace

Just a couple of hours after a rocket attack on Iraq, the plane crashed Ukraine International airlines, EN route from Tehran to Kiev. The plane crashed few minutes after takeoff, killing all aboard: 167 passengers (mainly citizens of Iran and Canada) and nine Ukrainian crew members. Naturally, this disaster turned out to be the center of attention of the world media, in the context of what is happening now in the middle East.

Immediately after the tragedy, the Iranian authorities stated that the accident is not connected with the fighting, but caused by the ignition of the engine of the aircraft. A terrorist or missile attack eliminated and the Ukrainian Embassy in Iran, but later corrected the message, noting that “information on the causes of the disaster shall be established by the Commission.” About having to develop all the versions stated and Vladimir Zelensky, urgently interrupted the visit to Oman.

The UIA said that the crashed Boeing 737-800 was new and serviceable aircraft 2016 release, with an experienced crew that has passed all the necessary instructions and rest before the flight. But Iranian authorities said they will not give the black boxes to the manufacturer, the Boeing company.

Of course, such statements provide an excellent ground for various conspiracy theories that are already actively circulating in Ukrainian media space. Do not stay aside and the Russian propaganda media that actively sow doubt in the fact that the crash was caused by technical reasons.

Russia’s current escalation of the conflict could benefit. And not only because Russia can blackmail the world with its aid of Iran and to demand concessions, for example, on the issue of Donbass. On the news from the Middle East five per cent increase in the price of oil, although later slightly declined. According to forecasts Fitch, in the case of further escalation of the conflict, the price of Brent crude oil could jump to $ 70-80 per barrel (at the moment – about 67$).

Milan Lelić