Major-General Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran, said that his country would take “strategic revenge” against the United States for the assassination of Lieutenant-General Qasem Soleimani.
The brutal but coward assassination of Soleimani, will be seen later as a “turning point” in US interference in West Asia.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif reacted strongly to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s suggestion that Iraqis were “dancing in the street” to celebrate the assassination.
On Twitter, Zarif posted pictures of the funeral procession for Soleimani and wrote, “End of US malign presence in West Asia has begun.”
Both the military and the diplomatic wings of Iran’s government are in agreement that it is not Iran that will be weakened by the assassination of Soleimani, but that the United States will suffer the consequences of this action.
Why does Israel and the United States of America, the country with the largest military force in the world, fear Iran? What can Iran do to threaten US Zionist interests?
To understand US fears about Iran, it is important to recognize the ideological threat that Iran poses to Saudi Arabia.
Until the Iranian Revolution of 1979, relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran were on an even keel. Both were monarchies, and both were subordinate allies of the United States.
Whatever historical animosity remained between the Shi’ite and Sunni, two branches of the Islamic tradition, were on mute.
Until, the Iranian Revolution shook up the region. The crown of the monarch was set aside, as a specifically religious republic was created.
Fears of Islamic republicanism brought shudders into the palaces of the Saudi royal family, and into the US higher establishment.
The Saudis and the West egged on Saddam Hussein to send in the Iraqi Army against Iran in 1980; that bloody war, with 1 million casualties went on until 1988, with both Iran and Iraq bled for the sake of Riyadh and Washington.
Soleimani and his successor Brigadier-General Esmail Ghaani both fought in the Iran-Iraq War. Both Saddam Hussein and later the Afghan Taliban held Iran tight inside its borders.
However, US president George W Bush broke the wall around Iran. The United States prosecuted two wars, which were in essence won by Iran.
First, the USA in 2001 knocked out the Taliban and delivered an advantage to pro-Iranian factions, who joined the post-Taliban government in Kabul.
Then, in 2003, the US regime took out Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath Party; the pro-Iranian Dawa Party succeeded Saddam.
It was Bush’s wars that allowed Iran to extend its influence from the Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.
The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia used several mechanisms to push Iran back inside its borders.
They first went after Iran’s regional allies: first sanctions against Syria (with the 2003 Syria Accountability Act in the US Congress), and then a war against Lebanon (prosecuted by Israel in 2006 to weaken Hezbollah). Neither worked.
In 2006, the US regime fabricated a crisis over Iran’s nuclear-energy program and pushed for UN, European Union, and US sanctions. This did not work. The sanctions regime ended in 2015. Attempts to intimidate Iran failed.
Trump ratcheted up the economic war against Iran. This hurt the Iranian people, but with Chinese help, Iran has managed to survive the contraction of its economy.
After the assassination, the USA sent an envoy to Tehran. The brief from Trump was simple: If Iran does not retaliate, the US will remove part of the regime of sanctions. Soleimani’s life was the price to pay to reduce sanctions.
Trump wants to make a deal. He does not understand Iran. His is a policy that is both naive and dangerous. But it is rooted in the Carter Doctrine, and therefore in the US establishment’s policy framework.
It has become commonplace to compare the assassination of Soleimani to the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which led to World War I. This is chilling.
If the US regime starts a full-scale war against Iran, what will be the reaction of the other major powers in Eurasia, namely China and Russia?
The US military, political and diplomatic power was not able to subdue Iraq, nor was it able to overthrow the government in Syria, and nor could it create anything near stability in Libya.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2020.