Results for Tag: Iran
The imbalance of forces between the US and Iran all but assures Washington of military dominance over Iran. Tehran knows this, and the country can hardly want to face an invasion. Plus, the apparent failure of explosives in the two seaborne attacks does not do much for the reputation of the Iranian military. However, both the ramping up of military rhetoric and the spectre of a long-time enemy looming large plays well politically for both the Trump and Rouhani governments.
In other words, the pain of sanctions will force people to rise up and overthrow their leaders. This is as naïve as it is cynical. It reflects the long-discredited theory that sanctioned populations will direct their frustrations and anger at national leaders and demand a change in policy or the regime. Sanctions have never worked for this purpose.
Salami will also oversee the activities of the Quds Force, an IRGC unit responsible for extraterritorial operations, giving him a significant say in the way Iran’s network of regional alliances work. However, as organizations under new management usually take time to stabilize, it is too early to say how the change at the top will ultimately affect Iran’s strategy, particularly towards its foreign enemies.
The question is also whether the evolution of the North Korea crisis suggests that other crises like Iran could evolve similarly even if there are no indications as yet of that potentially being the case and despite the fact that Mr. Trump at one point declared his willingness to meet with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
Although Washington claimed the designation is aimed at confronting the IRGC’s destabilizing activities in the region, many in the US consider it as an unnecessary provocation. Given that the IRGC was already under a huge amount of pressure, including from sanctions, it is hard to see how the FTO designation will curb its regional influence and reach. In other words, the IRGC has successfully furthered Iran’s regional agenda and priorities, and it is expected to continue doing so under the new designation.
But to replace Iran’s exports to Iraq, the US and its allies need to have Iraq’s ruling elites on board, which is highly unlikely given that many of them are backed by Tehran; and provide real alternatives for Iraq’s need for Iran’s electricity and gas, which is also highly unlikely in the next two years at least. Therefore, it seems that the US anti-Iran policy in Iraq is facing a deadlock.