On May 21, newly-appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced a total of 12 conditions that Iran must promise to fulfill in order for the US to return to the Iran nuclear deal Washington recently and unilaterally abandoned in the violation of all norms of international law.
American demands can be divided into two categories, technical demands related to the possible revision of rules of access to Iranian nuclear facilities, and those purely political. Judging by what Mike Pompeo announced, the latter were the primary goal of Washington’s dubious maneuvering staged together with the government of Israel. However, these political demands in their nature can be described as absolutely unacceptable for any sovereign state. They represent nothing less than an ultimatum requiring Tehran’s complete and utter surrender to the West. In fact, this all indicates that the United States has very closely approached a tacit declaration of war on Iran, although, of course, much will depend on Tehran’s reaction to these demands, as well as the positions that Russia, China and the EU take on the issue.
What is absolutely clear is that there’s no scenario under which Tehran will accept Pompeo’s ultimatum. After all, Washington demands the complete withdrawal of all Iranian troops from Syria, Iraq and Yemen together with the surrender of all political support of pro-Iranian forces in those states. The demands are extreme and Washington has put them forward at a time when it will benefit the West the most. Tehran has found itself in a disadvantageous position with virtually no military allies that can be described as big geopolitical players. And it has no position to abandon to make a concession to the West, as the nuclear deal itself was already the ultimate compromise on Iran’s part.
Iran has already predictably responded, stating that Washington made an attempt to undermine its sovereignty. The US will have to wait a bit to feign interest in peace, then it will begin implementing the things it has been planning for years. Trump is doing things in an intentionally aggressive manne. Therefore, if a final decision is made that Iran needs to be driven to the place that Washington assigned for it, the US will do it as efficiently and as quickly as possible. No protracted war, but only a series of devastating strikes on Iranian positions in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and possibly against nuclear facilities deep in the territory of Iran itself, with maximum damage and casualties inflicted on Iran’s side.
The US goal is to squeeze Iran out of Syria and Iraq, and then starve it with sanctions. And then Washington will keep the Iranian cauldron boiling inside until it explodes. The Iranian leadership is developing its country too slowly, paying a lot of attention to the development of “Islamic values”. This, in principle, was justified earlier, but not in today’s world, where economic development must also count for something. Today one has to be dynamic in order to manage the role you lay upon your shoulders, as archaic ayatollahs do not quite fit into the current, rapidly developing and high-tech world.
Yet another disturbing report came form Iraq, where an influential Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr announced that Iranian general Qasem Soleimani depart from Iraq within 48 hours in an extremely tough and indisputable form. Soleimani moved to the “green zone”, out of the grasp of Iraqi authorities. It seems that Shia pro-Iranian groups are being mobilized in Iraq.
Of course, formally Muqtada al-Sadr occupies no official post, despite the fact that a bloc he headed won the parliamentary elections. He intends to remain a purely spiritual leader that is capable of influencing the situation.
And now his influence is unparalleled, as he enjoys full support of the sitting Prime Minister of Iraq. Therefore, Haider al-Abadi will have to take the side of al-Sadr in the event of a severe conflict with Iran. No time has been spared in making harsh statements regarding the situation.
In particular, he said that Iranian forces will suffer a crushing defeat this summer. It was about Syria and Iran. There’s behind the doors discussions that Muqtada al-Sadr has recently been enjoying close ties with Saudi politicians, which, of course, have always been interested in such an ally, as Riyadh remains Iran’s most uncompromising opponent.
In general, the signs of military preparations against Iran are now visible. No one can predict when the aggression will begin, but it is clear that Iran does not fit into today’s model of US policy, and it doesn’t play a crucial role in anybody else’s plans. In this regard Muqtada al-Sadr is perfectly rational in an attempt to bury one of his two enemies. If there is a chance to get Iran driven out from his country – well, why not use it. Then he will try get the United States expelled as well.
For Russia, this development of the situation around Iran is extremely unfavorable.
Should Tehran fall this year, as Muqtada al-Sadr said after contacting Riyadh, where he was shown all the plans of what is about to happen, Moscow is going to be next in line. Once Iran is strangled, Washington will waste no time in attempts to move against Moscow. There will be no direct war, just local strikes on the periphery – in Syria and Ukraine.
It’s clear that gears are turning now.