The Iran Crisis: The Middle Eastern Gates of Hell
With the US using a drone to assassinate one of the most famous Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani which was ordered by Donald Trump on Friday the 3rd of January. Soleimani was the leader of the quads force as well as the IRGC (the Iranian Revolutionary guard core). With this action that has taken place, the repercussions could be severe for the US and the world.
According to Business Insider, Iran is ranked 14th when it comes to the total of military power, with a total population of about 83,024,745, with 873,000 military personnel (Estimated), Total aircraft strength of 509 (24/137 countries), 142 Fighter aircraft (ranked 17th), 1,634 Combat tanks (ranked 18th), 398 naval assets and a defence budget of 6.3 billion dollars. If a US-Iran war happens, it will make Iraq look like Childs play compared to this potential conflict. Also, they may have the ability to sink US aircraft carriers and ships in the Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf as well as to deploy sea mines. Addition to this, they carry the capability to launch shortly to medium-range ballistic missiles that would target all oil fields in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. With all these figures, it should be the United States last option to go to war against Iran due to this destroying the world economy, strengthening Isis and setting the region on fire.
After Iran responded with missile strikes on two US military bases in Iraq, the Trump administration is responding to the missile strikes with sanctions instead of targeting sites in Iran. Even with sanctions, the ramifications of the assassination are more than just a war between Iran and the US. The other consequence is that the Shi'ite militia groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine and the Popular mobilisation force in Iraq will target US Troops which are in the region as a revenge action due to Soleimani's efforts of supporting these group directly and defeating Isis which is the Shiites, common enemy. This shows that the US might just have created more enemies in the region even though US forces are fighting Sunni militias such as ISIS and al Qaeda in the region. Another thing that has happened is that the Iraqi government had passed a bill that demands the US to withdraw troops out of the region due to the hostilities; however, Mike Pompeo and other Trump administration officials have ignored the demands.
Even with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed by Russia, China, EU (including France, Germany, and the UK) as well as the US back in 2015, the Trump administration had withdrawn from the deal in 2018 due to Trumps desire of making it better as well as to destroy Obamas Legacy. This shows that Trump does not care about non-proliferation as well as improving relations with Tehran. This deal did not just limit the capacity of uranium and letting the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) in Iranian nuclear facilities to inspect if they are using it for building nuclear weapons. This deal also gives them back the money that the US was withholding in return as well as sanctions being lifted on the country. However, shows trump's lack of understanding of the deal due to his claims that Obama was giving ransom money to Iran which is not true but also the US allies are abandoning trump on this issue because they do not want to be in a quagmire of epic proportion.
To conclude this, it would not be on anyone's interest to start a major regional conflict in the middle east due to all these factors and also with the unpredictability of this war turning from regionally to an actual world war because China and India being the major trading partners of Iranian oil as well as the number of lives being at risk, everyone must stop this war from happening. Also, for more information are the tensions, read more about this in SufyaanSays: The Middle Eastern Love Triangle.
Published by A CONSCIÊNCIA SOCIAL- Aristides Mandinga (IR and Peace Studies)