Iran and Renewed US Greatness

Monday, March 6, 2017


Saeed Davar
International Analyst

Many analysts are of the opinion that the United States has reached its finish line. Even within US Department of State, seasoned staff of the department believe that the time for the United States is already over and they compare the country’s situation with that of Britain following the end of World War II. But what is the reality? In the midst of such opinions, which are rife both among the United States enemies and its nation, the country’s new president, Donald Trump, talks about his effort to make America great again. The United States is currently facing a number of serious challenges in the present world with Iran being one of those challenges. Now, the question that is raised here in view of Trump’s ideas is whether America’s greatness depends on it fighting Iran and annihilating this country? I don’t think that Americans themselves are following this goal, because existence of Iran helps Washington meet the national interests of the United States from various aspects and it also guarantees national security of the United States. What happened in Afghanistan and also in Iraq under the rule of the country’s former dictator, Saddam Hussein, are clear evidence to this reality. In fact, this issue is a general rule that applies to most countries within framework of international relations, and many countries act to the benefit of one another to various degrees.

The word “greatness” is more applicable to ancient empires of Iran and Rome than the United States. However, if Trump is alluding to nuclear bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the bombardment of Vietnam, we should expect confrontations, even on limited scale, between the United States and some other countries, including Iran. However, does the reality of the United States Middle Eastern foreign policy toward Tehran indicate that Washington is trying to turn Iran into another Vietnam? What is clear is that under the present circumstances, Trump is not seriously willing to engage in a war with Iran. This unwillingness is not due to weakness of US army, but is mostly due to presence of Russia, negative consequences resulting from Iran’s reaction, its untoward impact on the public opinion within the United States, and of course, political conditions governing the White House and its faceoff with Democrats. I personally believe that if suitable conditions exist and necessary will prevails at the White House, the United States would not be unwilling to engage in military conflict with Iran. I also believe that the US would not do this alone and would have Arab states of the Persian Gulf on its side within framework of a NATO-like Arab alliance, so that, while paying the cost of war, Arab states would supply necessary manpower for the war with Iran. This is also true about the European Union, because by forcing member states of the European Union to pay for NATO’s work Trump can have them on his side one more time.

Of course, it must not be forgotten that European countries are very unhappy with Trump’s statements and approaches. Such a military operation may be also relatively welcomed by American people because from a financial viewpoint, the war with Iran will not impose any additional costs on American tax-payers. However, this is true as long as US fleet and aircraft and military staff have not come to harm. In my opinion, Trump will not throw away the nuclear deal with Iran, which is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but will make its implementation difficult. The goal pursued by the United States is to change all those behaviors, which make Iran a threat to the United States and put it in determining positions. For this reason, I have always believed that the United States will never scale down pressures on Iran’s missile and radar industries and technology, and will not give up on human rights situation in Iran, and supporting political dissidents in the country. Of course, as long as Iran enjoys serious support of Russia and China, especially Russia, with regard to supply of weapons, missile technology and other equipment as well as JCPOA, it must not be afraid of any possible US measures. However, since Iran cannot be one-hundred percent sure about their support, it must naturally act with caution and vigilance. The biggest tool available to the United States foreign diplomacy in the face of Iran is the military tool, which of course, cannot be easily taken advantage of. However, Trump has shown a great interest in threatening Iran and, in parallel, bolstering his country’s army.

Under the present circumstances, the administration of President Trump, like its predecessors, is  not taking diplomacy quite seriously and reduction of working hours of the Department of State cannot be a good sign for US diplomacy. For this reason, the index of risk with regard to Iran has increased under Trump administration compared to previous US governments. I believe that Trump will become wiser in time and will act more cautiously with regard to such sensitive cases as Iran. However, the possibility that Trump administration will be a government with an Israeli system is much more than Obama administration and this issue can increase possibility of conflict between the two countries’ strategies in the Persian Gulf. If Trump goes for military action against Iran, that action would be short-term, but strong. Of course, there are serious doubts about ability of the United States to achieve military and political goals of such an aggression. The greatest opportunity available to Trump administration for avoiding collapse is to make American people believe the necessity of a great and powerful America.

A large part of the American society agrees with Trump when it comes to this part of the president’s plans. Let’s not forget that election of Trump proved the fact that many sociologists and analysts and even American politicians themselves have been unable to achieve a correct understanding of real layers that exist in disgruntled American society. As a result, they have been really taken by surprise by the choice of the American people. Of course, Trump must emerge out of all military challenges victorious in order to be hailed by his country’s people. Trump seeks to boost America’s might in Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Syria, Afghanistan and a large part of other sensitive regions in the world, especially around China. This crave for power will certainly cause friction between Iran and the United States in those areas that are of common interest to both countries. Iran’s main strength in confrontation with the United States is fluid flexibility. Iran has turned into a regional power by taking advantage of this tactic while the United States has frequently found itself at zero point without any specific achievement. Whatever achievement the United States has had with regard to Iran was obtained following imposition of sanctions against the Islamic Republic and this can set the direction for Washington’s long-term strategy to control Tehran.

More by Saeed Davar:
*Turkey’s Charles De Gaulle:
* Admiral Diplomacy:
* Iran and America: Establishment of Relations or Peaceful Coexistence?:

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.