“Our operation last night was to stop a war, not to start a war.” On Friday morning (January 3), Iraqi time, they attacked and killed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force command by air strike After Qassem Soleimani, U.S. President Donald Trump, who is on vacation in Sea Lake Villas, Florida, explained his decision. However, the Iranian authorities have vowed to “toughly retaliate”, Tehran’s people mourning the streets have vowed to “kill all U.S. leaders”, and tens of thousands of people in the neighboring Iraqi capital, Baghra, delivered Suleimani’s remains on the streets for the last trip. Even the Prime Minister was involved. The hatred sown by Trump’s move, even if it did not immediately set off the flames of war, left the war with only a gap of reality.
Sulaymani, who has led the Holy City Army since 1998, is the most powerful person below Iran’s supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is also the most popular government official in the hearts of Iranian people according to foreign opinion polls. Hasan Rouhani is better than that. Sulaimanni is responsible for Iran’s maintenance and expansion of its influence in neighboring countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and has made great achievements in the operation of eliminating Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq.
According to WikiLeaks, David Petraeus, who once had full authority over the U.S. forces in Iraq, often relayed messages to Sulaymani through Iraqi officials; Russia also served in Moscow before sending troops to Syria in 2015 to support the Assad government. “Instructed” Suleimani in advance-it shows that he plays a pivotal role in the political and military situation in the Middle East.
Beheading is almost declared, global fright is uncertain
Suleimani has a tough anti-US attitude and believes that any U.S.-Iranian negotiations are Iran’s “overall capitulation”. He has also publicly provoked that he will “close in places where Trump did not expect.” According to Reuters, the U.S. National Security Agency has tracked Suleimani’s whereabouts for many years and has repeatedly planned to “decapitate” him. However, historically, no US leader has dared to act rashly, and I am afraid that the situation in the Persian Gulf is out of control. Trump, who is enjoying an American-style meatloaf and ice-cream dinner with friends and party friends at Haihu Villa, made a far-reaching decision than killing al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden.
As Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, puts it, the US assassination of Suleimani is “equivalent to declaring war on Iran.” However, Iran’s response to the killing of one of the top military and political leaders in the United States does not seem to have been determined, and its response remains only in its lips. Rouhani’s modest position shows that the death of Suleimani will only strengthen Iran’s determination to resist the United States; Khamenei refers to the United States as “a dirty criminal with blood on his hands”; Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif (Mohammad Javad) Zarif) also accused the United States of beheading as “international terrorism”, claiming that it would be pursued by legal means, and stated that “Iran will not act, and the United States will see consequences.” Although Iran has convened an emergency meeting and stated that it has made the “necessary decision”, and that several low-precision rocket attacks were made on several US-related locations in Iraq on Saturday (January 4), Iran has left a comprehensive military counterattack. Still far.
As Iran clings to the Strait of Hormuz, which transports one-fifth of the world’s oil supply, and has significant military and political influence on many unstable countries in the region, countries around the world generally hold their eyes on Iran until it clearly responds. Changing attitude. Although Russia’s foreign ministry condemned the assassination of Suleimani, referring to it as “violating international law”, it has not yet proposed a specific response after liaising with China, France and other countries. China has expressed “high concern” and has stated its opposition to the use of force in all international relations. French diplomats only said, “As soon as we wake up, we are in a more crisis-ridden world.” British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said that Britain agreed with Suleimani’s threat, but showed that “there is no conflict with British interests”.
Middle Eastern countries outside Iran and Iran have also exercised considerable restraint. In addition to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s praise of Trump’s “decisive action”, even Saudi Arabia, which is Iran’s deadly enemy, has not made a positive statement on the US assassination, and only demanded “restraint” in general. However, Qatar, whose relations with Saudi Arabia have gradually thawed recently, have dispatched a deputy foreign minister to visit Tehran in a hurry. It seems to take advantage of its relatively neutral political status. Under the US diplomacy and military actions, there is no rule for the Gulf Cooperation Council including Saudi Arabia The state seeks another way out.
Unexpected continuous air strikes
In fact, even if Suleimanni’s assassination did not occur, last week was a moment of extreme tension between the United States and Iran. The tense situation dates back to December 27 last year. At that time, a rocket attack on the military base of Kirkuk, Iraq ’s oil town, killed a U.S. civilian contractor. The U.S. accuses Kataib Hezbollah, a member of the pro-Iranian “Popular Mobilisation Forces”, as a behind-the-scenes attack. He retaliated against five Hezbollah bases in Syria and Iraq on December 29, causing at least 25 One militant died and 55 were injured.
The incident detonated the general anti-US sentiment in Iraqi politics. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who has resigned due to anti-government demonstrations and is now leading the interim government, has accused the air strikes of being “unacceptable vicious attacks with dangerous consequences”. Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of Saairun, the largest party in the Iraqi parliament that has publicly called on Mehdi to resign in the past, has also expressed his willingness to work with pro-Iranian parties to put aside their prejudices and kick US troops out of Iraq.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday (December 31, January 1) for two days in a row, the US ambassador to Iraq ’s capital, Bagdag, was heavily fortified and arsoned by anti-American demonstrators. Demonstrators chanted slogans such as “The United States is Satan,” which reminded people of the 1979 hostage incident at the Iranian U.S. Embassy. Meanwhile, Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, deputy commander of the People’s Mobilization Army and founder of Hezbollah Brigade, also appeared in the demonstration.
Although Trump warned on Twitter at the time that “Iran would be held fully responsible for any loss of life and damage in the embassy.” However, the outside world still talked about the US impulse for being too impulsive. The embassy was still surrounded by colors, in addition to killing Suleimani, even Ibrahimi, who was with him at that time, was also killed.
Of course, Trump hastily decided these two attacks, on the one hand to implement his red line of “no Americans can be killed” against Iran, on the other hand, to leave the American people “protect US envoys at any cost” The perception of the situation-after all, the death of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 was a campaign rhetoric when Trump attacked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. However, according to reports, Trump, who called to collect opinions after the attack, seemed to be frightened by his own decision. Therefore, he warned that if Iran retaliated, the United States had “locked 52 Iranian strongholds” while sending Secretary of State Pompey Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien have repeatedly claimed that the attack was “creating conditions to reduce conflict” and that the United States and Iran can still negotiate unconditionally. Replacement. ”
“Ignorance” Middle East Policy
In Trump’s speech, his decision to assassinate Suleimani was defensive because the latter was planning an “imminent” attack on US diplomatic and military personnel. Indeed, according to Reuters, Sulaimani had met with Ibrahimi in Baghdad in mid-October to organize a new round of offensive against US targets located in Iraq. However, apart from being reluctant to disclose the details of the forthcoming attack, the United States cannot explain why it did not stop the attack directly and instead killed Suleimani, who believed he would not participate in the attack himself. At this point, the United States has completely lost any possibility of seizing the moral high ground, and even UN Human Rights Commissioner Agnes Callamard has “pretrial without trial”, referring to the US action “very likely to violate international law, including human rights law.”
For the realists of international politics, if they can achieve their goals, the aura without moral highlands is not important. However, the purpose of Trump has not been clearly seen so far. First of all, this attack can be regarded as part of the “extreme pressure” policy after the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement in May 2018. However, in the premise that the United States is unwilling, unable and unable to fully invade Iran, killing Suleimani will only make it harder for Iran to return to the negotiating table.
Second, Trump’s goal may be to stop Iran from attacking the United States and its allies in the region, such as shelling bases stationed by US forces, blocking tanker transportation, and destroying oil equipment. However, most of the so-called “Iranian attacks” come from the armed groups of other countries close to Iran in the region. The death of Suleimani, in addition to failing to prevent the original actions of these organizations, will inspire a deeper anti-American sentiment-dead One Suleimani will only cultivate tens of thousands of “Suleimani”.
What’s more, Trump’s two consecutive killings of Iraqi and Iranian enemies in Iraq without the consent of the local government have aroused the enmity between Iraq and Iran. In addition to Mehdi’s accusations that the United States “boldly violates” the Iraqi garrison agreement, the leader of the Congress ’s largest party, Sudermani, who only asked the United States to withdraw before the incident, also vowed to rebuild his “anti-American” armed organization. There are even more people on the streets of Baghdad saying: “If Congress does not vote to expel Americans, they will see real Iraqi street forces.”
Anti-Government demonstrations in Ikra since October have been dominated by anti-Iranian forces. Any strategic US government should also seize this rare opportunity to drive out pro-Iranian organizations that have penetrated the core of Iraq ’s military and political power because of their opposition to the history of Saddam ’s regime and Shi’ite religious origins. However, Trump’s recklessness at the moment made this opportunity vain. The “Washington Post” earlier used an internal investigation by the US government to expose that “the United States has no idea what it is doing” since its invasion of Afghanistan. Today, Trump only demanded a momentous prestige, which can be regarded as exposing the Middle East policy of the United States without long-term strategic thinking.