The latest escalation in the Persian Gulf region comprising the US, UK and Iran look like a poorly written repetitive script.
Soon after Donald Trump came into power, Iran was the first target of his ruthless power which came with US abandoning of nuclear agreement JCPOA. Then comes waves of sanctions hitting every part of the Iranian economy. Recent US sanctions to halt Iranian oil export to zero put many countries on a different track to look for other sources of their energy requirements.
This was enigma which later saw attacks on four oil tanker off the coast of UAE. In a short time, the US accused Iranian forces of these attacks. A few days later, two tankers were hit by explosions in the Gulf of Oman. Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia and global rival US accused Iranian of perpetrating the attacks and Iran denied.
Then comes June 20, The IRGC shot down an American sophisticated drone Global Hawk that-it alleged had entered Iranian air space and The US denied.
After few days US President Donald Trump tweeted that American forces destroyed an Iranian drone spying US aircraft carrier, which Tehran denied.
In the meantime, on 4th July British forces seized an Iranian tanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, on Spain’s south coast. The British claim, which Tehran denied, the tanker was carrying 2 million barrels of crude oil to Syria thus breaching EU sanctions on Syria.
Iran’s IRGC hit back with seizing of UK-flagged tanker which violated international maritime rules, as Iranian claimed and British denied.
The pattern of actions and reactions, allegations and counter-allegations, tit for tat and denial goings-on show the trump age of populism and confusion.
Following this pattern, all parties have denounced and cautioned about serious result while insisting that they don’t want another war in the already war-torn region.
As US president has already kicked off 2020 election campaign, rallying across states to garner support for the presidency. He needs a lot of effort to restrain himself from taking actions, especially in the foreign policy domain. However, he has surrounded himself with hawkish advisors who are ready to push the US on another misadventure in the Middle East.
While Iranians are trying their best to put his utmost enemy down at every cost. The recent Gulf tensions have provided them with a suitable option to hit hard upon the American presidency.
This labyrinth has left the US with one option, to help Emirate and Saudis by pouring worth billions of weapons in their arsenals. This made Donald Trump ready to veto any US congress bill hindering US arms deal with the kingdom. It has also proposed to make a coalition of regional navies to make sure the safety of tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
However, there is no doubt that Iran cannot match US conventional power but it doesn’t mean it can’t give a tough time which is itself disastrous for the US.
Wars have not been kind to anyone and especially for American presidents. The United States defeat in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan is insurmountable. The costs of these wars in terms of human lives as well as its burden on American taxpayers were staggering. They left bruises. History shows that war tarnished legacies of American presidencies of Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
All the military conflicts confronting faced by US today, one cannot think of more unnecessary and counterproductive wars. Mr. Donald trump should consider this in his thought process.