Strait of Hormuz. Image: Nasa
Economic war intensifies, Iran’s response yet to come. Saudi Arabia joins U.S. naval mission in Persian Gulf
U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered his Treasury Secretary to lift sanctions on Iran "to be substantially strengthened", as he made known via Twitter with exclamation marks. The world public still has to wait for details.
Trump is intensifying the economic war, and depending on the target and the scope of the sanctions, he will more or less piss off Iran, but, to his credit, he is not going down the path that calls for a military escalation. This would not necessarily have been the case with President Clinton.
Prere Direction "military option"
The prere is on to respond martially to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Although there is still debate over who is actually responsible (wait and see after the attack on Saudi oil facilities), for the U.S. it was quickly clear that Iran was behind it. Although the "military option" The demand for a robust response is evident, for example, in a report in the New York Times from experts stating that "many Americans are convinced that U.S. interests in securing oil supplies from the Middle East have dramatically diminished."
The whole NYT report is about how Trump should act to restore his tarnished credibility. That the interest in securing oil supplies from the Middle East did not end with fracking oil production within the U.S. is then highlighted again elsewhere (The myth of U.S. energy independence has gone up in smoke).
And then, of course, there is the debate over the Iranian threat, which calls for decisive answers. "Iran is testing the U.S. administration", according to the sound of the chorus from behind the scenes being sent out by US media outlets. Iran is virtually demanding a response from Donald Trump, says former U.S. ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein.
He reportedly intervened forcefully in Yemen with then-Auben Secretary Clinton in 2012. Clinton’s policy at the time with her ambassadors, including in Yemen, was to carry out covert military operations in order to "to attack insurgents".
Gerald Feierstein is not the only one in this background chorus. Former New York Times journalist Bret Stephens, who is said to have close ties to neoconservative circles, drew attention on MSNBC to the fact that the "U.S. sank the Iranian fleet in 1987 without any consequences. We could do it again".
Iran warns of reaction if U.S. takes steps against country
How the Iranian leadership will react to the tightening of sanctions remains to be seen. It was unlikely that Trump would meet with Iran’s president even before the latest U.S. accusations that Iran was responsible for the attacks on Saudi oil facilities and the latest threat of sanctions. Iran’s government has repeatedly indicated that the lifting of all sanctions would be a prerequisite for such a meeting.
Now it is not sure whether President Rouhani or Minister Zarif will get a US visa to attend the UN meeting in New York, where the meeting was supposed to take place. Whether the U.S. is looking for a diplomatic eclat? At least they take their time and show their power wherever possible.
Iran, according to reports from Tehran, has addressed a diplomatic note to the U.S. government through Switzerland’s mediation, rejecting accusations by Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo of an Iranian role in last Sunday’s attacks.
To this is added a warning according to which "that any move by the U.S. against Iran would be met with an immediate response and that this response would not be limited", so Iran Front Page, which is "private and independent Iranian news website for English-speaking audience" Represents and has its headquarters in the Iranian capital.
Saudi Arabia to join US naval mission
Which moves the U.S. meet the conditions for Iran to respond immediately? It will be interesting to see how the situation in the Persian Gulf develops when Saudi Arabia implements what the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh has officially announced: participation in the U.S. mission in the Gulf, which used to be called Operation Sentinel and is now called Operation Sentinel "Safety mechanism" has been linguistically downgraded.
"International Maritime Security Construct", is the name in the Saudi Arabian announcement. The Strabe of Hormuz, the Bab al-Mandab Strabe, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf are thus covered.
The EU wants to do more geopolitics
Very vague remains the role of the Europeans. As reported from Brussel, the new EU Commission intends to act more geopolitically. But in the case of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, it becomes clear how little the claim is backed up by reality.
France, with Germany and the UK behind it, tried to keep Iran in the nuclear deal with a loan initiative, as reported here. Now comes to the "No" from Washington, the latest Gulf crisis adds to the difficulty. Most recently, it was announced that the billion-euro loan would be bundled with the Instex project.
If the news from the state-financed Iranian broadcaster Press TV is true, then Tehran is so angry about Renault and Peugot that it does not want to do business with them at all in the future. This can be seen as a signal to Macron that, from Tehran’s point of view, not enough is being done to keep promises.
The French government recently announced that it would participate in an investigation into the background to the attacks on Saudi oil installations.