Mr. Hanning, former US Vice President Joe Biden, says US President Donald Trump “threw a stick of dynamite into a powder keg” in killing QuassemSoleimani. Is Biden right?
The killing means a further, highly dangerous level of escalation. However, Iran is primarily responsible for worsening the crisis. The regime aggravated the situation with attacks on US facilities in Iraq and the deaths of US citizens.
4besnews what reaction do you expect from Iran?
Iran is under significant pressure to retaliate for the killing of General Soleimani. The killing of the general and the leader of the unfaithful militias in Iraq, Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, was a severe blow to the regime’s reputation.
The pressure to retaliate comes from the regime’s powerful armed organizations under Soleimani, but also from the population. F9news And from the fanatical, unfaithful militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Iran will have to act. There are basically three options. The first option is for Iran and the US to continue earlier informal agreements and for the Americans to tolerate face-saving, limited retaliatory measures by Iran without further turning the escalation screw. Provided that Iran undertakes to refrain from future provocations against the USA. In return, the US could even declare its willingness to tolerate the dominant Iranian influence in Iraq.
The second option would be a limited retaliatory strike by Iran against US allies in the region or against shipping on the Strait of Hormuz, which is important for the oil trade. The US military response would then probably be more symbolic.
The third option would be direct Iranian attacks on US facilities, with US victims. This would inevitably lead to US military strikes that would be very painful for Iran. The US would then probably only consider whether to limit the attacks to Iranian targets in Iraq or whether to attack Iranian territory directly. That should depend on the type and extent of the damage and losses caused by the Iranian attacks.
The leadership in Iran should be aware, however, that the US has very high firepower in the region, from the bases in Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq. The US is in a position to cause considerable damage to the Iranian infrastructure and to massively exacerbate Iran’s already existing economic problems.
Why should the US, as described in the first option, get involved in a deal in retaliation against Iran?
Both sides have no interest in armed conflict on a large scale. The USA continues to pursue the strategy of withdrawing from the region in the long term and avoiding military conflicts as far as possible.
The Iranians fear serious damage to their economic infrastructure and the danger that the stability of the regime would be jeopardized. Actually, the Iranians just have to be patient: After the long-term withdrawal of the US armed forces from the region, they have a good chance of further increasing their influence in Iraq and the region – even without military clashes with the USA.