Following U.S. President Donald Trump's hotly anticipated decision on the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just launched salvo bombing. As a Republican Congress member, Pompeo was already known for his aggressive posture on Iran. Not surprisingly, it did not take long to rattle his saber against Iran as he blasted Iran's nuclear agenda in his first major speech as secretary of state, spelling out a list of 12 demands on the heels of Trump's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Most commentators think his harsh demands signal a war between the U.S. and Iran since his list didn't just target nuclear issues but also Iran's major foreign policy pillars, from closing its heavy water reactor to demobilization of Shia militias.
Pompeo's speech hit like a bombshell; now prominent American and European think tanks question whether an Armageddon war has started between the U.S. and Iran or is it just a brave challenge that won't go beyond the "new U.S. strategy on Iran." However, the real question is whether Pompeo's demands have rendered war between the U.S. and Iran unavoidable. First, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the monitoring and verification authority for the agreement, confirmed several times that Tehran scrupulously adhered to its nuclear obligation. In addition, IAEA authorities are carrying out fastidious inspection activities in Iran nuclear facilities without allowing any undetected dash to proliferate any nuclear weapon.
It would be opportune to point out that while Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968, Israel is not a party to any of the major treaties aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including the NPT. While experts have reached a consensus that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and a sizeable arsenal of short and medium range ballistic missiles, the U.S. stipulates terms of coming to the table with Iran once more based on stopping Iranian ballistic missile development. Located in a region that has witnessed multiple conflicts, each country has a right to develop conventional military capabilities; nevertheless, Israel is developing its defense system based on a policy of opacity. As a U.S. satellite and unique proxy agent in the region, Israel acts as the perpetrator of multi-layered crisis and tremendous amount of physical and psychological trauma of local residents of the Middle East. In the May 14 demonstrations, Israeli soldiers killed more than 60 people, including an 8-month-old baby, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.
Apart from demanding that Iran stop uranium enrichment and halt development of nuclear-capable missiles, the U.S. urgently asks Iran to stop supporting terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. However, the U.S. is supporting Democratic Union Party (PYD)/People's Protection Units (YPG) forces in northern Syria, which currently controls 30 percent of war-torn Syria. The Pentagon plans to arm up to 65,000 members of the U.S. partnered force in Syria, including the YPG, based on its 2019 fiscal year budget proposal of last month, even though Turkey considers the YPG an offspring of the terrorist organization PKK in Syria.Pompeo's targeting Iran is an obvious articulation of Trump's new strategy against Iran and its expansionist agenda and a sign of U.S. hypocrisy. While Iran has been accused of being the mother of all evil in the region, the U.S. is feeding another one which will cause reigniting unanticipated socio-economic stalemates. Iran will face multi-pronged challenges because Trump buried the nuclear deal that came after a long negotiation period. In the first stage, annulment of the accord may tip the balance of power to the detriment of Iran; however, rising intransigence between the U.S. and the EU over the nuclear deal will also cripple transatlantic relations faster than expected.
Since the inauguration…
The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the U.S. marked a new era in the 21st century's international system. From various perspectives and approaches, the EU is experiencing relative detachment from U.S. politics as a major global power. It started with Trump's ditching of the Iranian nuclear deal. This is the first time world powers sided with Iran and condemned the U.S. for violating the JCPOA. Other countries in the deal -- Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China -- have expressed varying degrees of criticism over Trump's move. For the first time, Pompeo's Iran strategy indicates that a U.S. president has openly underlined the necessity for regime change in Iran -- one of the most sensitive nerve endings embedded in Iran's foreign policy pillar.
In short, a life or death struggle has again started for Iran as a nation. In response to Pompeo's new Iran strategy, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, referred to a once popular Tom and Jerry cartoon. He said: "Like the cat in Tom and Jerry, they keep failing. And they will fail again." This might be true taking into consideration Iran's doctrine of indigenization and resistance economics in which it meets the needs of its citizens itself rather than rely on foreign trade.
Iran's national foreign policy is tethered to neither direct confrontation nor normalization with the West and will remain the same in the medium term. Dumping the Iran nuclear deal may have triggered an Armageddon War between the U.S. and Iran. The real trouble maker is the U.S. in the Middle East where it has been feeding hostilities and long-term geopolitical instabilities since the foundation of the state of Israel.
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