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    In case of war with US, Iran 'can mobilize its supporters including in Azerbaijan'  
     Azeri.Today from Chicago 

      06 Февраля 2017 - 10:32 

        1640   



       Saeid Golkar
      Famous Middle Eastern analyst, senior research worker on Iranian policy under the Chicago board on global issues, as well as consultant and senior research worker at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, exclusively for Azeri.Today

      One knows for sure what Trump’s foreign policy will be regarding Iran or the Middle East. During his campaign, he was critical of the Iran nuclear deal; yet some of his cabinet picks, particularly Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and Jim Mattis as Secretary of Defense, support it. As a result, a fair guess is that Trump will not tear up the nuclear deal but will enforce it harshly. Generally, a rapprochement between the US and Iran is unlikely under Trump. There is a possibility that he will increase sanctions on Iran as a result of alleged terrorism or the missile program. In addition, some members of the Trump administration have closed relation with  Mujahidin-e-Khalq (MeK), an Iranian opposition group who wants regime change. This group, which launched terrorist attacks in Iran and joined sides with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, is widely unpopular within Iran. Support of MeK by the Trump administration would thus further strain relations between the US and Iran. However, Trump has had a friendly relationship with Russia, and Russia and Iran are on good terms. There is a possibility that these ties could relax the United States’s stance on Iran.

      I hope the US will not attack Iran, despite neoconservatives’ push for regime change in Iran. I think there are more realistic people in Trump administration who realize Iran was not Iraq in 2003, and it is not possible to occupy Iran like they did one decade ago. Iran is much bigger, more complex, and militarily, economically, politically more powerful than Iraq under Saddam Hussein In spite of massive discontent among Iranian people, the Islamic Republic still is supported by a small but well-organized group pf people who are organized in the Basij militia.

      I think Trump’s administration’s strategy will have a few phases. Initially, the US will enforce a new series of sanctions in hopes to deter Iran and ultimately reform the Islamic regimes from the inside. Just a few hours ago, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran over missile test. By enforcing new sanctions, the “regime change” supporters hope the Islamic regime will weaken, and ultimately be overthrown by a mass uprising.

      The second phase is supporting the future mass uprising in Iran. I think the Trump administration will actively support any social revolt in Iran, unlike the Green movement which was ignored by Obama administration in 2009.  If the mass uprising isn't successful, I believe the next phase will be arming an oppositional group, like Mujahidin, and separatist ethnic groups to challenge and change the clerical establishment. The last phase may include limited US attacks on Iran to weaken and change the Islamic regime.

      Unfortunately, this strategy is based on several wrong assumptions and is very dangerous - not only for Iran but for the whole region. First of all, the sanctions will hurt Iranian people, especially poor and lower class - more than the political elites. Also, the political control is more pervasive in Iran, which doesn’t allow people to revolt.  After 2009, the Islamic Republic has dramatically expanded its security and military control throughout Iran. The brutal suppression of the Green movement has also silenced people who remember the suppression of the Green movement. I think the enforcement of new sanctions will just hurt Iranian people and undermine the America popularity in Iran. 

      I don't think there will be a war between Iran and the U.S., at least in the short term, but if it happens, the war will expand to the entire region. The Islamic Republic can mobilize its supporters in the region, including in Azerbaijan to attack the American and Israelis targets. Also, if Azerbaijan supports the US attack on Iran, the Islamic Republic will retaliate.

      Unfortunately, this strategy is based on several wrong assumptions and is very dangerous - not only for Iran but for the whole region. First of all, the sanctions will hurt Iranian people, especially poor and lower class - more than the political elites. Also, the political control is more pervasive in Iran, which doesn’t allow people to revolt.  After 2009, the Islamic Republic has dramatically expanded its security and military control throughout Iran. The brutal suppression of the Green movement has also silenced people who remember the suppression of the Green movement. I think the enforcement of new sanctions will just hurt Iranian people and undermine the America popularity in Iran. 

      I don't think there will be a war between Iran and the U.S., at least in the short term, but if it happens, the war will expand to the entire region. The Islamic Republic can mobilize its supporters in the region, including in Azerbaijan to attack the American and Israelis targets. Also, if Azerbaijan supports the US attack on Iran, the Islamic Republic will retaliate. 

      Источник: Azeri.Today

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