On May 21, Patrick Shanahan, the acting U.S. defense secretary, claimed that the alleged threat from Iran had diminished as a result of an American show of force in the Middle East. All the while, democratic lawmakers have been warning that anti-Iran hawks in the Donald Trump administration are laying the groundwork for an armed conflict with Tehran.
What are these show of forces for? Why is the U.S. this afraid of Iran? Is it a case of: “Every madman thinks all other men mad?”
As a country with a dark history of war, occupation, genocide and war crimes, the U.S. is certainly afraid of every tiny move around the globe. In contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that prevention is better than rehabilitation.
So, Iran has always taken necessary actions for defensive purposes since the inception of the Islamic Revolution. On top of that, it reacts to threats with diplomatic language first and if it does not operate, it would prefer to recourse to international communities before applying the same language as the source of the threat.
Despite that, there are questions that are repeatedly being asked like who is afraid of whom, and who is really threatening whom and what will happen if the U.S. attacks Iran? These questions look preposterous but are legitimate considering the history of the two countries’ ties. Therefore, the goal is to really understand that misunderstandings in the interpretation of the threats both for Iran and the U.S. affect the nature of the threat’s perception.
Understanding the threats
It does no good to lambaste pugnacious American foreign policy since its warlike policies are part of the inseparable and undeniable characteristic of a typical superpower.
Contrarily, it is unjustifiable to scrutinize a targeted country for their defensive measures. The latter applies to Iran, despite the fact that the country has also been jockeying for resolving the gaps and differences with the West, specifically with the U.S. through diplomacy and negotiations.
Based on the characteristics of a typical superpower, adoption of provocative actions and threats are undeniable parts of U.S. policies. However, the U.S. officials’ miscalculation of many parameters in foreign policy decision-making will leave the U.S. with a much bigger failure and more damage than that seen post-Iraq or during the Afghanistan war.
The parameters are as follows. First, the U.S. has invested a vast budget and energy on Iranian society to take full control of the country. We can’t claim that the U.S. policies in this regard were not effective. However, a U.S. war with Iran would be one of the biggest mistakes, I dare say, in the history of American foreign policy. Despite many uprisings and demonstrations against the system in Iran, Iranians will never support any military action against the country, and the system is still capable of mobilizing people any time for a counterattack.
The Trump administration has been threatening Iran through forming alliances with some of Iran’s Persian Gulf Arab neighbors to convince world leaders and international communities that Iran is a threat. It has neither the support of other political parties in Congress nor in international organizations. Other major allies of the U.S. are not showing willingness to support U.S. military action either.
Accordingly, the world will see an unpremeditated attack of the U.S on Iran as a bolt-from-the-blue act of aggression. If this happens, the U.S. will face more isolation.
Categories: The Muslim Times