The troubled relationship between the United States and Iran has generated great debate and tension. Iran holds the United States responsible for the 1953 Iranian coup d’état (not an isolated case of US involvement – see here) where democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlai. In addition, Americans still hold animosity towards Iran as a result of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis where a group of Iranian students, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held fifty-two American diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 days.
While it is true that Iran has never invaded another country in over 200 years, they have and continue to fund terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. But, some may argue that the United States has (directly and indirectly) supported terrorist groups. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that gives credence to this claim. I documented just a few recent instances of this in my prior post titled: President Trump Is Not Acting Weak Towards Russia but Is Fighting the Deep State – February 7, 2017
Declassified DOD Release – March 10, 2015 – page 5
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
ISIS Coverup: US Centcom Accused Of Lying To President, Congress, Public About Airstrikes, Ground Fight – Zerohedge, November 22, 2015
Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions – Mirror Online, December 14, 2015
ISIS, Al Qaeda And The CIA: The Documented Connection – Zerohedge, December 17, 2015
But right now, President Trump has a unique opportunity to foster real change. He certainly appears to be trying to defeat ISIS:
Marines have arrived in Syria to fire artillery in the fight for Raqqa – Washington Post, March 8, 2017
Trump administration inviting more than 60 countries for strategy session on countering ISIS – Washington Post, March 9, 2017
Sadly, Iran’s supreme leader has repeatedly made provocative statements towards Israel such as these:
Iran’s supreme leader: There will be no such thing as Israel in 25 years – CNN, September 11, 2015
Israel will not exist in another quarter century, Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a speech this week in Tehran, state-run media report.
“I’d say (to Israel) that they will not see (the end) of these 25 years,” the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Khamenei as saying Wednesday at the Imam Khomeini Mosque.
and more recently:
Iran’s leader calls Israel a ‘fake’ nation, ‘dirty chapter’ – AP, February 21, 2017
Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday used the podium of a pro-Palestinian gathering in Tehran to lash out at Israel, calling the Jewish state a “fake” nation in a “dirty chapter” of history.
The remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were some of his most vitriolic against Israel, Iran’s archenemy. Every four years since the early 1990s, Tehran has hosted a similar conference in support of the Palestinian cause, assembling foreign guests and those who oppose Israel.
Speaking to the gathering, Khamenei said Israel was created by bringing Jews from other parts of the world to the Mideast region to settle in the land of the Palestinians to replace its “true entity.”
The creation of Israel is “one of the dirty chapters of history that will be closed, with the grace of God,” he added. Khamenei’s speech lasted 33 minutes.
The supreme leader, who has final say on all state matters in Iran, also urged all Muslims to support the Palestinians and “resistance” movements — a reference to anti-Israeli militant groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Shite Hezbollah militants. Iran has always been their staunch ally.
These statements are not simply directed at Israeli politicians but against the Israeli people. They imply genocide and should be condemned. They also don’t represent the views of the vast majority of the Iranian people. I don’t care how many ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ staged events the mullahs set up, a significant majority of their citizens do not particularly care about the Israeli Arab conflict.
Strategically, Iran is part of a burgeoning economic axis that includes China and Russia.
These two articles clearly illustrate the economic and military ties between the three countries (although I do not necessarily agree with all the conclusions in the first article).
How a United Iran, Russia and China are Changing The World – For the Better – Strategic Culture Foundation, January 1, 2017
The Iran-Russia-China Strategic Triangle – Near Eastern Outlook, November 21, 2016
An area of enormous concern for the United States is Iran’s decision to completely ditch the dollar.
Iran To Ditch The Dollar In Wake Of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ – Forbes, January 30, 2017
The Iranian government is to stop using the US dollar in its official statements, according to a report in the local English-language daily the Financial Tribune.
The decision was announced by Central Bank of Iran governor Valiollah Seif during a television interview on the evening of January 29 and, according to the paper, is due to take effect from the start of the new fiscal year on 21 March. It will affect all official financial and foreign exchange reports.
…Seif said in the television interview that “we have to set a currency as the basis of financial reporting that has better stability and greater application in our foreign trade,” according to the Financial Tribune.
The Iranians don’t seem to have much respect for the United States currency. Although it is well within their legal right as a sovereign nation to act in their best interests, this is somewhat dangerous – Gaddafi tried to establish a gold dinar and the end result did not go very well – see here.
But wait, didn’t President Trump lay out his agenda very clearly in his inauguration speech. Any suggestion for regime change via covert operation contradicts the statements by President Trump where he implicitly took regime change off the table:
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and for new ones – and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.
Please note that the United States will not initiate any kind of Iranian invasion via military force. There aren’t enough soldiers and not to mention the willpower within the military to do it.
Nevertheless, the current United States administration has its own problems (mainly from the previous one) trying to maintain old alliances in a rapidly evolving world. The effects of either the Phillippines, Saudi Arabia or Turkey pivoting toward this China-Russia-Iran axis are potentially devastating. These scenarios are outlined by our friends at Rogue Money.
Philippine, Saudi, and Turkish pivots signalling the end of the American century – Rogue Money, October 23, 2016
It would appear that the current administration is in a current box as Iran supports Islamic terrorist groups and has clear hostile intent towards American interests while its leadership advocates genocide against another sovereign country. It is also highly unlikely for Israel to be ‘thrown under the bus’ by President Trump and foolish for the United States to pursue a policy of isolationism thereby doing nothing.
I suggest a three point approach for the United States to mitigate Iranian threats:
1. Pull Russia away from Iran
Although some arguments have been made that a Russian detente does not serve American interests, I would disagree. Russia is a country more culturally and religiously aligned with Europe in contrast to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since no European country has pulled out of NATO yet and moved to the China-Russia-Iran axis, Russia has a greater incentive to do business with the countries aligned with the United States as opposed to Iran.
2. Create a wedge between Arabs and Persians
Although most people are familiar with the theocratic divide between Sunnis and Shiites, an even more relevant one is between Arabs and Persians. Deeply rooted prejudices exist as many Persians view Arabs as having a lower status in society – somewhat like the caste system in India. This has been evident in the war in Syria.
Hezbollah Losing Its Luster Under Soleimani – Washington Institute, February 22, 2017
Relations between Hezbollah fighters and their commanders in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are similarly complicated, but much more problematic to discuss publicly. Hezbollah remains Iran’s most skilled militia, but anecdotal accounts indicate that it may no longer enjoy its privileged status with Tehran, at least in terms of how its forces are treated on the battlefield. The war in Syria has uncovered Iran’s true expansionist intentions, along with a Persian arrogance toward Arab Shiites that Hezbollah fighters are not used to.
Those who have fought under Soleimani tend to remark on this tension; as one Hezbollah fighter told the author in December, “It was clear to many of us that [Soleimani's] priority was to protect the Iranians, and that [Hezbollah fighters] and all non-Iranian Shiites could be sacrificed.”
Important to note that no better instance of Arabs showing loyalty to their own country was during the Iran-Iraq war. Although Iraq was a majority Shiite country (like Iran), their soldiers fought against their Shiite Iranian brothers fiercely. A unified Arab world can be useful tool to counter an expansionist Iran.
3. Truth bombs courtesy of President Trump
The defeat of the deep state and its affiliated terrorist groups (i.e. ISIS) would provide President Trump with the moral high ground to speak out against other terrorist groups like the ones sponsored by Iran. There will be no way the Iranian regime can spew out any nonsense that America is controlled by Freemasons or that any opposition to their power is a CIA plot. President Trump could go directly to the Iranian people and speak about the gross corruption of their government officials. Maybe, he could engage in a twitter war with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who just opened an account. He could even bring up the complete fallacy of the Iranian revolution based on these declassified cables:
US had extensive contact with Ayatollah Khomeini before Iran revolution – The Guardian, June 10, 2016
But new documents seen by the BBC’s Persian service show he [Khomeini} went to a great lengths to ensure the Americans would not jeopardise his plans to return to Iran – and even personally wrote to US officials.
The BBC’s reporting suggests that the Carter administration took heed of Khomeini’s pledges, and in effect paved the way for his return by holding the Iranian army back from launching a military coup.
The best part of this approach is that it is consistent with President Trump’s stated goals and doesn’t require any large investment in resources. It also does not require any nefarious covert activity often associated with US foreign policy. It relies on truth and diplomacy. The Iranian regime may feel just enough pressure to be willing to negotiate a peaceful resolution to better serve American interests.
Unfortunately, Iran might be realizing this pressure to change course. They have been conducting multiple missile tests recently – latest one here.
“In the year Moshiach comes all the nations of the world will provoke each other and threaten with war. The king of Persia (Iran) will provoke the King of Arabia (Saudi Arabia) with war. The King of Arabia goes to Edom (The Western Countries, headed by USA) for advice. Then the King of Persia destroys the world. And all the nations of the world begin to panic and are afraid, and Israel too is afraid as to how to defend from this. G-d then says to them “Do not fear for everything that I have done is for your benefit, to destroy the evil kingdom of Edom and eradicate evil from this world so that the Messiah can come, your time of redemption is now.”