Gulf waters between American hegemony and Iranian intransigence: contexts and prospects

Prepared by the researcher: Maher Latif – Civilized Studies specializing in a modern civilization – Sfax – Tunisia 

  • Arab Democratic Center

Executive summary:

This research studies the motives and contexts of the US-Iranian escalation in the Gulf waters, which is represented by the friction of warships belonging to the Revolutionary Guard with US naval vessels in the region, which led to an increase in the intensity of the statements and mutual threats between the two parties, in light of the repercussions of the outbreak of the Corona virus.

This research also works to highlight the attempts of America, Israel, Russia and Turkey to curb the growing Iranian influence in the region. Finally, we clarified the various scenarios for the future of the relationship between Washington and Tehran.

Study questions:

This study attempts to answer a number of questions in this regard:

  • 1- What are the contexts and developments of the American-Iranian crisis?
  • 2- What are the repercussions of the Corona virus on the United States of America and Iran?
  • 3- What are the attempts to curb Iranian influence in the region?
  • 4- What are the scenarios for the future of the relationship between Washington and Tehran?


Tension between Washington and Tehran has returned to the surface of the hot Gulf waters and the region in general, after the American threat to destroy any Iranian object approaching the American ships. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps responded with a similar threat, coinciding with the American-European refusal to launch a satellite by Iran, which they considered a cover for missile tests.

This tension is not born of the moment, but has emerged since the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement in 2018 and the imposition of economic sanctions on Iran within the policy of maximum pressure exercised by the Trump administration, followed by the detention of tankers at sea, through the assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, and the wars of bombing vital bases and interests. Down to the proxy war led by Tehran in the Arab Mashreq countries.

Will the cold war between the two sides continue, or are we on the cusp of a new clash phase that began with the assassination of Qassem Soleimani in Iraq?

1- Contexts and developments of the US-Iran crisis:

The outbreak of the Corona virus and the involvement of the countries of the world in confronting the virus did not prevent the tension between the United States of America and Iran returning to its first stage.

The fuse of the recent crisis between the two arch-enemies ignited after an incident dating back to the middle of this month, and as usual, each side’s version of what happened in the turbulent waters of the Gulf differed, as the US Army accused 11 Revolutionary Guard ships of approaching a dangerous distance from 6 US military ships in a provocative act that violates all international laws. For movement navigation.

After this tension, President Donald Trump called on the American forces to take a harsh response to any Iranian boat that came into contact with their warships, and Revolutionary Guard Commander Hossein Salami replied that the Iranian Navy had also received orders to target American ships if they tried to endanger Iranian ships. The 11 fast boats belonging to the Revolutionary Guard approached several times and harassed 6 American warships that were carrying out joint maritime surveillance missions in international waters in the northern Gulf, and the statement indicated that the Iranian boats repeatedly passed in front of and behind the American ships, approaching them at a very close distance and at a high speed.

He added that these boats approached only 50 meters from the American “USS Lewis Warrior” helicopter carrier and less than 10 meters from the bow of the patrol ship “Maui”. The US Navy attached his statement with photos and a video tape documenting what happened. (1)

The escalation this time reached its furthest stage, albeit verbally, to the point of this moment, by giving US President Donald Trump the presidential mandate for the Fifth Naval Fleet in Bahrain, which states that the US Navy has the right to direct response and self-defense against any attack that threatens the safety of its ships and soldiers. Without going through a complex series of security measures (American protocols require waiting for the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, the Minister of Defense, and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces before taking any military action or even responding to any attack). This is considered a new development in the context of the Iranian-American conflict, which did not deviate from the rhetoric wars and media statements, except for the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

We can understand the American fear of small boats, especially those carrying weapons, as the bombing of the destroyer “USS Cole” in 2000 in Aden by a small boat carrying explosives is still in mind, and that attack resulted in the killing of 17 soldiers and the injury of 39 others. Therefore, we are not correct if we say that there is an American phobia of small warships.

I believe that the Iranian Navy knows how to provoke the American forces and knows very well that these forces cannot respond to them due to the long series of procedures that must be followed to obtain permission to respond. Consequently, these harassment is not of great importance and danger nor does it deviate from being a provocative issue that Iran has been recurring in recent years.

As the American presence in the Gulf has always resulted in the escalation of tensions between the two sides, given that both of them seek to confirm their presence. For example, in 2014 Iranian aircraft intercepted a US Navy destroyer and warned it to leave the passages of the Strait of Hormuz, while the destroyer was carrying out military exercises.

A skirmish occurred in 2015, when an American helicopter approached an Iranian surveillance plane within a range of 50 meters. (2)

Also, I do not think the Iranian Navy is this stupid until it enters into direct contact with the aircraft carrier and the surrounding warships in the Gulf waters, where the American forces can defend themselves and sink Iranian boats in moments, as happened in Operation Mantis in April 1988 that resulted. About the sinking of half of the Iranian naval force in the Gulf when the Iranian boats came into contact with the aircraft carrier “Samuel Robert” and almost drowned it.

Iran mined Gulf waters during its war with Iraq in the eighties of the last century, which resulted in the destruction of an American warship after it collided with a mine, so the United States retaliated relentlessly, destroying the Iranian Navy severely and reducing its operational capabilities to a point close to zero.

The importance of this process stems from the fact that it weakened the Iranian navy for many years, from which it only recovered very slowly. (3) Therefore, Iran is well aware of the red lines that it should not cross in dealing with the American forces.

And in the midst of the whirlwind and the feast of American officials and their constant threats came the news of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard launching the first military satellite successfully to raise the level of escalation to higher levels, the moon Noor 1, or the great national achievement according to Tehran, settled in its orbit around the Earth last Wednesday, and as usual Washington hastened to denounce With this escalating step, I considered it evidence that the pressure exerted on Iran is insufficient.

Although I am not a military expert in order to talk in detail about the importance and dimensions of this great Iranian achievement from a military point of view, I can say that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s announcement that “One Light” is a military satellite, meaning for the purposes of monitoring, surveillance and espionage, is a departure from the norm in dealing with Iran, with its space program, which was previously asserted that it is for purely peaceful purposes and not for military purposes. The matter which indicates that Iran wants through this announcement to send a message to Trump and behind him Netanyahu – who succeeded days ago in forming an emergency government in Israel – that they have to wait for more and think a trillion times before embarking on any foolish military adventure against Iran .

In order to imagine how this achievement will take place in Washington and Tel Aviv, it suffices to point out that Trump and Netanyahu were greatly pleased when three previous Iranian attempts to place satellites in orbits in space failed last year and early this year. (4)

Iran aimed behind its escalatory measures to send messages to its opponents that more escalatory and punitive measures against Iran mean more escalatory countermeasures in the Iranian dictionary, and to transmit messages that it also possesses pressure papers and is able to influence the global economy with its ability to disrupt international shipping, and that it It will not allow its oil exports to be zeroed in, as the US administration aspires, and that there is a great price for those who work to zero Iranian oil revenues, and that Iran has become a supra-regional state that enjoys great sovereignty and influence in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, and that it is capable of causing disturbances and impacts on global shipping. (5)

2- Repercussions of the Corona virus on the United States of America and Iran:

A repercussions of the virus on the United States:

The Corona crisis revealed the extent of the weakness that afflicted the United States of America, not only because of the inefficiency of its health system, but also because of the method of managing the crisis, which came confused and hesitant, which contributed to the United States being ranked first in the number of injuries and deaths in the world, as it became more From one fifth of the injuries in a very short period of time, exceeding the one million injuries and more than 57,000 deaths. We also cannot forget the failure of the US administration to contain the energy crisis and oil prices.

These successive crises have carried with them great criticisms of the policies of the US President Donald Trump’s administration and his negative handling of it, especially his laxity at the beginning of the emergence of the virus, and in the context of these criticisms, Ahmed Abdel Basit Rajoub wrote in the London newspaper, “Ray Al-Youm:” The world woke up on the fragility of major countries that was relying It must protect the world, if it is exposed to an alien invasion, then it falls upon the first exam, and the Corona virus, which is associated with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is almost defeated.

He adds: “The US President did not take the required seriousness to confront the Corona epidemic, even the chorus of media around it considered that this virus is a liberal media ploy, on the basis of which Trump agreed to use malaria medicine to treat this epidemic, and in the same context the president faced many criticisms, Especially from the Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, for accusing President Trump of adopting flawed policies and accusing him of failure and lying towards dealing with the Corona epidemic, many did not expect America to be this weak in its infrastructure, or that it was not ready even with protective masks at least. ” (6)

The Corona crisis came to plague American power and tamper with its arrogance and arrogance, and it demonstrated the weakness of the infrastructure and the low medical level, and ignited differences between the Republicans and Democrats and between Trump and state governors who reject his policies in dealing with this epidemic from disregard and contempt, and the preference of the economy over the safety of the American citizen for elections, all this happens amidst Presidential office next November.

The spread of the Coronavirus in 2020 makes all aspects associated with it, whether the level of disease spread, and how to respond to it, of a special nature, because 2020 is an important year in American political life, not only because it is the year of the presidential and midterm elections, but it is also a year of challenge, On the one hand, President Trump wants to be reelected, and on the other hand, the Democrats want to remove him from the White House.

Hence, President Trump and his administration’s dealings with the spread of the Coronavirus have been a major part of the administration’s overall performance evaluation, and that is why the spread of the Corona virus in the United States of America is not seen as a health crisis related to the spread of a virus, but rather as a political crisis related to how to deal with a threat facing national security. The various efforts that the Trump administration is undertaking to manage the crisis, turned into a political crisis for the administration rather than a healthy one (7)

Whatever the case, the state of America after the Coronavirus will not be the same as its predecessor, especially since China and Russia have filled many boxes of global strategic influence after America abandoned its pioneering role in helping the afflicted countries, in financing the World Health Organization, and in supporting the international efforts undertaken by the United Nations For the benefit of other countries that knew very well how to benefit from the crisis. Instead, the United States acquired large shipments of masks and ventilators by force, overshadowing international laws.

Under the heading “America after the Coronavirus,” Emil Amin said in “The Middle East of London” “It is certain that there is a real problem in Washington’s ability to penetrate the new Iron Curtain, which is Chinese in this historical era and not Soviet. This was before the emergence of the Corona crisis, and with it the situation became more fierce, as 16 intelligence agencies were unable to obtain any accurate information about the cause of the rapid outbreak of the virus, whether in China and Iran, but also extended to North Korea and Russia. (8)

Jaafar al-Jaafari predicted in “Lebanese squares” a catastrophic scenario for the situation that the United States will have in the wake of the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, as he believes that the virus will exacerbate the economic crisis, which will lead to the escalation of unemployment rates to unprecedented levels, which can exceed unemployment rates during the days of the 1930s crisis. Indeed, more than 21 million Americans have lost their jobs to this point and hundreds of companies have declared their bankruptcy, in addition to the emergence of signs of famine that will affect large social sectors of the American people, as they are a consumer population that may lead to protests and chaos that may turn into armed clashes and civil disobedience threatening The Fate of the American Federal States.

B – The repercussions of the virus on Iran:

Neither the sanctions, nor the economic deterioration, nor the American maximum pressure policy, nor even the repercussions of the Coronavirus dissuaded Iran from continuing to fund its proxies and armed militias in the region. The American “Fox News” reported a report in which it highlighted the size of Iranian abuses, as the Iranian regime exploited the Corona virus crisis, and it was adopted from the beginning The spread of the virus is a delayed and shady policy, followed by attempts to exploit the crisis for other purposes, such as pressure to lift the sanctions imposed on it, taking advantage of the existing differences between the Europeans and the Americans, and this is what many international organizations have pointed out that it is something that reflects the mismanagement and the extent of the rampant corruption in the system.

The nuclear agency also monitored Tehran’s continuing nuclear activities despite its pledge to stop it, as Tehran is working on producing 60 advanced centrifuges per day and funding agents in the countries of the Shiite Crescent. The US State Department had previously denounced Tehran’s spending of money that was the first to allocate it to the impoverished Iranian people instead of Its foreign activities range from the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian regime to the Popular Mobilization Militia in Iraq, Ansar Allah al-Houthi in Yemen and the Al-Wefaq Association in Bahrain, and even drug networks in Venezuela.

The regime’s fierce hostile policy is run by a group of people in Tehran with limited administrative and economic competencies, as for its ability to use ballistic missiles and drones, and to launch some sophisticated attacks such as its attack on Aramco, most of them are due to support allies such as North Korea, and others hostile to the American pole. The regime, since its coming to power, a modern and industrial state, but built a large military and propaganda machine, deluding its people and the outside world that it is capable of independence and production, and to enter into wars through a huge military system of large regular and militia forces, and a huge reserve that may give it enormous power, and yet it cannot even handle it. In developing the oil refineries he inherited from the era of the Shah with what he inherited. (9)

Internally, the Iranian people are suffering from both problems as a result of the sanctions that have targeted their country, and the regime finds no solution other than increasing taxes that lead to an increase in the standard of living and a severe economic downturn, as Iran’s steadfastness in the face of the policy of maximum pressure exercised by the international community has led to an economic and social disaster in which all citizens are killed. And victory – even if achieved – no longer means anything in the face of the magnitude of this disaster, the features of which are highlighted by the following problems that led to the deterioration of the citizens’ standard of living and widespread popular discontent, including the increase in unemployment, the rise in prices, the exacerbation of poverty, the decline of the riyal exchange rate, the deficit of the balance of payments and the rise Military spending and mounting tax burden.

These factors have effectively contributed to the deterioration of the country’s financial situation and the increase in the public budget deficit, and military expenditures (the expenses of the army and the Revolutionary Guard) can be estimated at about twenty billion dollars per year, and this amount exceeds all current oil revenues. (10)

An Iranian website specializing in economic affairs quoted high-ranking officials in the Islamic Republic of their expectations that the country will witness the addition of a million new unemployed to the unemployed numbering about 5 million people, while the cost of housing and living is expected to increase by about 40 percent, in light of the great inflation and recession caused by the spread of the virus. Corona and international sanctions on Iran. Iran Focus said that from now on, one can see the future of the miserable economic situation of millions of deprived people in the wake of the spread of the Corona virus in Iran. (11)

Another internal axis that Fox News talked about and denounced by Amnesty International is the way the Iranian authorities deal with the outbreak of the Corona virus in the regime’s prisons, including suppressing the protests of prisoners against the poor level of health services that undoubtedly lead to an outbreak of injuries among them, as well as dilapidated conditions. Basically, the lack of means of protection from any disease behind those walls.

Thus, then, and despite the open and hidden disagreements between the two opponents, they share, in varying degrees, the repercussions of the outbreak of the Corona virus, which was not a light guest for each of them, and we also do not forget the frightening and dangerous decline in oil prices for all countries that produce very cheap black gold these days, including Iran and the states. United States of America.

3- Attempts to curb Iranian influence in the region:

A attempts to limit Iranian influence in Iraq:

Iran took advantage of the fall of its neighbor Iraq and the changes taking place, whether in the structure of the Arab regimes or the shifts in American policy that were characterized by moderation and peace in dealing with them, especially during the reigns of Bush and Barack Obama, to unilaterally determine the fate of the Middle East and in controlling the balance of power and the form of alliances in the region and in expanding its influence extending from Baghdad. To Sanaa, Beirut, Damascus, Manama, and even Gaza, due to her accurate knowledge of the Arab region and her mastery of its languages ​​and culture.

This influence is bothering the American leadership today more than ever before, which began to sense the size of the mistake it committed by handing over Iraq on a silver plate to the mullahs’ regime, which wreaked havoc, destruction and theft through its armed Shiite militia, as the US strategy in dealing with Iran changed with the assumption of Donald Trump. Ruling from a logic of understanding to escalation through its attempt to overthrow the Rouhani government and change the regime, and the first attempt was to cancel the nuclear agreement less than a year and a half after his presidency in May 2018 and designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Maximum subjugation to the guardianship of the jurist regime with severe economic sanctions, (12 Maher Al-Latif Iranian Policy Forum), after which the rules of engagement between Washington and Tehran shifted from the use of political and economic pressure mechanisms to an explicit use of military force that resulted in the assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani insideIraqi lands at the beginning of this year.

As a result, Washington deliberately targeted Iran’s arms in Iraq by directly destroying warehouses and convoys of the Popular Mobilization Forces, and trying to liquidate its leaders in an attempt to curb Iranian influence and deter Tehran from continuing its military activities that destabilize the Middle East, and set up its Patriot missile system to repel any retaliatory attacks from Iran or its proxies. .

The outbreak of the Corona virus has not prevented the United States from continuing its battle against Iran, as the Trump administration is planning to join the leader of the Iraqi Hezbollah, “Muhammad Kawtharani”, with Qassem Soleimani, as part of the pursuit of the financial assets of the mother Hezbollah in Lebanon and linked to the Quds Force, and has offered 10 million dollars to those who give information About him in an attempt to stop the Iranian infiltration of the Lebanese and Iraqi state institutions.

According to the American administration, Iraq is considered one of the most prominent papers of pressure on the guardianship of the jurist regime and a face of restrictions on it and limited its expansionist and aggressive policies as the last line of defense for the entire Arab sphere. It is easy and exposed to Iranian missiles or its local agents, and the Gulf states will become from behind them threatened and unstable if the Iranian project is completed, and the repercussions that will be caused by the complete Iranian penetration, which if it succeeds in introducing Iraq into the house of obedience, its consequences will be dire in the structure of the fragile and unstable Arab regimes. The homogeneous states of the Arab Mashreq, due to the sectarian and ethnic contradictions they bear. (13)

The Corona virus has reshaped the Iranian-Iraqi relationship again after sovereignty was violated by Iran and its Shiite militias, and the new Iraqi policy is represented in Baghdad’s refusal to open its land borders with Tehran despite the great pressure that is being exerted on it, as it wants Iran affected by the virus and economic sanctions. Immediately opening the borders because trade with Iraq is the only outlet for the stability of the Iranian economy and the main market for Iranian agricultural goods and products. ”In sum, opening the borders between Iraq and Iran brings much-needed economic benefits to the latter in its difficult economic conditions, and opening them also means ensuring continuous communication with Its militia is in Iraq, while regionally, its benefit is represented as an important part of Tehran’s grand project to reach its allies in the Arab environment. (14)

We have recently noticed the growing feelings of hatred and rejection of the Iranian project in Mesopotamia through the increase in anti-government protests last fall, and now in the era of the coronavirus, with the health of Iraqis at risk, the pressure to move the country away from Iran has gained a wider appeal, especially within the Shiite Crescent (Karbala, Najaf, Basra) ).

B- Attempts to limit Iranian influence in Syria:

The Iranian presence in Syria is exposed to great threats and harassment that could threaten the future of its presence from Israel, the traditional ally of the United States of America. In April, the Israeli Air Force returned to direct new strikes on Iranian sites and the Revolutionary Guard’s weapons stores in the vicinity of Damascus and its countryside in a repeated message from Tel Aviv indicates the depth of Israeli annoyance over the expansion of the Iranian influence project in Syria, and despite the repeated Israeli strikes on Iranian sites inside the Syrian territories, this strike has its own peculiarity, which comes as the first direct Israeli message indicating that we are facing an escalation wave that will increase its extent in the coming months, and that After the Israeli Defense Minister announced a joint plan with the United States of America that Israel would take over the task of striking Iranian influence in Syria, while Washington would strike Iranian influence in Iraq.

We can say that the recent Israeli attacks were carried out with Russian complicity, as Russia deactivated the battery of its anti-aircraft missiles at the “Hmeimim” base and did not turn them on until an hour and a half after the attack. What is new this time is in the statements of the Israeli Minister Naftali Benitez, who told the international community, “Put the headphones on your ears and wait, you will hear and see things. These statements were translated into raids in southern Syria that targeted warehouses that Israel says are stores of advanced strategic weapons and guided missiles.

Vladimir Putin has expressed many times his annoyance with President Bashar al-Assad for his favoritism to Iran, and who forgets or forgets about Russia’s support for him in favor of his support for the survival of the Iranian presence on Syrian soil, which Moscow rejects vehemently for many considerations, the most important of which is the economic gain through the monopoly of the planned reconstruction contracts in Syria. Syria, which is witnessing intense Iranian-Russian competition.
Russia’s complaint about Iran is not a new thing, as Putin finds that his direct competitor in Syria is the Iranian regime, which entered with all its strength and militias since the early years of the Syrian revolution, which pushes Putin to try to end the Iranian expansion by force first, which happened during the many clashes that occurred between the two parties in several cities Syria, despite the regime’s attempt to deny this, and secondly, by the Russian silence about the harsh Israeli strikes targeting Iranian militias, as if the Kremlin implicitly blesses those strikes.
And thirdly, with the implementation of the Astana and Sochi agreement, with the Turkish partner and the exclusion of the Iranians from it completely, the Russian-Turkish agreement on March 5, 2020 revealed the flaws in the relationship between Moscow and Tehran, as Iran read in the agreement an attempt to bypass it and a systematic plan to get it out of Syria, and that Russia dealt with it as a secondary player in The Syrian arena, and therefore it is not necessary to involve it in agreements related to arranging the Syrian situation, and this interpretation reinforces an Iranian apprehension that has already been expressed by various political parties in the Iranian parliament and other institutions, who have spoken more than once about the existence of Russian intentions to seize Syria and marginalize Iran.

Iran is afraid that the recent Turkish-Russian agreement in Idlib will turn into a model for understanding with other players, so that Iran will be excluded and excluded from the circle of influence in the Syrian field until it is finally marginalized, so it is working to deliver a clear message to Russia that it has the ability to reverse developments in its favor, And blocking any arrangements that do not recognize their influence and influence nor give them weighty consideration. (15)

Perhaps the latest Russian trend will be to win over Iran’s allies on the Syrian soil, amid the many news that Russian offers to Iranian-backed brigades in Syria, especially the Abbas Brigade of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, which recently entered the service of Russian interests after Moscow supplied it with weapons and money in exchange for mercenarism in its favor.

The agents and the global intelligence services will work through alliances based on a reasonable settlement of the Syrian file that guarantees each of its interests. The position of each party in the Syrian equation and the amount of its margin of movement in this country in the future will be determined. Perhaps the silent conflict with Iran will turn into a direct public conflict, especially with the conflict of interests and the growing Iranian tide. Which is trying to influence the identity of the Syrian state and the future of its regional relations and to strip its Arab identity for the benefit of the supreme Shiite Islamic project under the name of the resistance project, and also influence the work of the regular Syrian army, which represents a threat to the future of Iranian militias, and work to re-employ the geopolitical position of Syria.

4- Scenarios for the future of the relationship between Washington and Tehran:

In recent years, the Gulf waters have turned into an arena of tension between Washington and Tehran, and the outbreak of the Corona virus and the two countries’ preoccupation with the virus have not prevented the tension between them returning to its first history, and even more acute this time than its predecessors, although many observers believe that the American escalation – The Iranian regime is nothing more than a verbal and propaganda war between the two parties, and the fuse of the war will not start in this sensitive period, which is witnessing great economic losses and an increase in the number of infections and deaths due to the outbreak of the virus, especially since the Gulf waters have witnessed during the past 3 years more than 12 friction processes between Naval forces of the two countries.

These operations did not lead to a military confrontation, except for a limited confrontation on Iraqi lands after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, which indicates that Iraqi territories could remain an arena for settling scores between the two parties.

While a spectrum of Iranian analysts say that US President Donald Trump wants to export his internal problems abroad and that he sees Iran as the weakest link compared to his major enemies (Russia and China) and found in the Gulf waters the most appropriate arena, which explains the violent Iranian response to the recent American maneuvers (16) )

All scenarios are possible and on the table today. The United States of America can enter a war with Iran, but it will be an inconsistent war in terms of the balance of power and the two parties will bleed, and it can wipe the system off the ground and it can strike nuclear facilities, weapons and ballistic missile centers for the Revolutionary Guards, in addition to targeting naval centers Iran, as part of a limited military strike such as Operation Mantis in 1988, lasting a day or two, to weaken the regime. Whereas, the plan for a limited American military strike for targets focused in Tehran was ready since 2012 during the administration of former US President Barack Obama, but it was most likely delayed by the outbreak of the Arab Spring events, which the US administration wagered on would affect Iran as well, and the change that Washington aspires for from within However, Iran took advantage of this spring to strengthen itself internally and enhance its influence in the region.

Today’s circumstances may be appropriate for the Trump administration to resolve the pending plans, and thus implement the plan in which Obama hesitated to make a decision until he found a way out of the file after a nuclear agreement that would serve the Iranians more than others. However, if Trump is given the green light for a limited blow, it may be with different and creative scenarios. As the scenario of the strike will depend on the element of surprise. Iran’s territory may not be targeted, but rather Iranian forces or sites or pro-Iranian elements deployed in the region and in other conflict areas, especially in the maritime areas, may be targeted, after provoking them and pushing them into reckless action that is classified as hostile action against the interests of Washington and its allies (17)

Or that the United States bet on toppling the mullahs’ regime by pressing it with more economic sanctions or by supporting opposition currents at home, so that the regime collapses under the tremendous pressure from the street, as is the case during the time of the Shah. However, this collapse will carry with it overwhelming chaos, not only in Iran, but in the entire region, and it is an option that the United States, which suffers from complete confusion in its approach to Iran, may not like.

  • And here the question arises: is the Donald Trump administration capable of crushing Iran?

Absolutely sure, but what is the price? The price is the imbalance of the strategic balance, as the United States is forced to mobilize more than half a million American soldiers at least if it wants to destroy Iran, in addition to enormous air and missile military capabilities (warships, troops and aircraft carriers)

And if the Iraq war required 300,000 soldiers and has been under siege for more than 14 years, then we are talking here about Iran, which has developed a military system and formed arms and militias in the region (Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Bahrain) with the aim of besieging the American forces and striking them if war is declared, as well as developing networks outside the region. It extends into Africa, Latin America and Europe and is capable of causing major earthquakes and a rift that threatens the balance of the entire world.

In addition, the mobilization of a large American military force by focusing on striking a small country in the strategic balance of power will drop from its considerations the central strategic challenge, which is resisting the Chinese expansion first in East Asia and then in the second place Russia. Therefore, the war option will weaken and exhaust the United States militarily and economically, and disturb the balance of capabilities distribution. This will be worse than what happened to it in Iraq, with the consequent threat to US national security.

Today, Trump wants to contain Iran and curb its ego and oppression, and he wants Tehran to declare surrender and that it will not challenge the American administration in the region, but he does not have a clear approach to do so. Today he has ended up with extreme economic pressures that paralyzed the joints of the regime and disrupted its projects, but Iran is not that weak state Which may succumb to economic pressures.

Here we see that the third scenario of adopting diplomatic solutions and seeking peace and focusing on talks in which the two sides make major concessions is the closest to reality, and this requires recognition that the sanctions policy and the exercise of maximum pressure have failed to draw Iran into responding to the American demands, as well as fanning the Iranian public’s feelings against it. The United States, especially in light of the Corona crisis, and writer Bonnie Christian believes in an article published by American Time that all this requires a reassessment of US foreign policy priorities after nearly two decades of conflict in the region, in which the United States lost more than it won. (18)


In the end, both Washington and Tehran want to exploit the Corona crisis to their advantage, as the United States does not consider the nuclear agreement in place, but rather does not recognize it, it only wants to push Iran to sit at the negotiating table again to reach another agreement and other conditions dictated by the Iranian side to confirm its hegemony All over the entire region, for its part, Iran does not want to sit at the negotiating table because it is weaker now and in return wants to return to the nuclear agreement and preserve it, especially at this stage, with the presence of other parties adhering to it, such as the Europeans, the Russians and the Chinese. It wants to delay pending the outcome of the upcoming US elections, to determine its position on the negotiation process.


1- France 24 report, “ American battleships are exposed to provocative maneuvers by Iranian boats in international waters in the Gulf ,  April 16, 2020, France 24.COM

2T Art Arabic, “Will the 1980s Tanker War Return to the Gulf Again”, June 17, 2019.

3 m, the same

4- Muhammad al-Nubani, “What does Iran’s success mean in launching one light and declaring the Revolutionary Guards to be for military purposes?” Ray Al Youm Newspaper, 27 April 2020

5- Abdul-Raouf Mustafa Al-Ghunaimi, “International Mediation to Settle the American-Iranian Crisis and the Future of Tehran’s Regional Influence,” the International Institute for Iranian Studies , p.8.

6- BBC Arabic, “Coronavirus: Will the Epidemic Crisis Destroy America’s Leadership?”, April 4, 2020.

7- Hosam Ibrahim, “Features of the Trump Administration’s Response to the Corona Crisis,” Future Center for Research and Advanced Studies, March 13, 2020

8- BBC Arabic, “Coronavirus: Will the Epidemic Crisis Destroy America’s Leadership?”, April 4, 2020.

9- Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed, “Is the guide’s regime in the wind?” Politicians Post, 14 January 2020.

10- Sabah Naoush, “What is the price of Iran’s Resistant Economy Program?”, Gulf House for Studies and Publishing, March 13, 2020

11- A report by the American Al-Hurra channel, “The Iranian economy, terrifying numbers and warnings of an imminent collapse,” April 25, 2020

12- Maher Latif, “The American-Iranian Confrontation in Iraq: Contexts and Prospects,” Arab Forum for Iranian Policy Analysis, Avib , April 10, 2020.

13 AD, the same

14- Report of the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies, “The Iraqi Borders: What is their Importance for Iran” , April 27, 2020

15- Emirates Policy Center, “A Russian-Iranian silent influence struggle in Syria ,  March 31, 2020

16- Al-Jazeera Net, “The drums of war beating the scenarios for US-Iranian escalation in the Gulf waters,” April 28, 2020.

17- A position assessment paper for the Middle East Center for Political and Strategic Consulting, “ Washington plans a limited strike and Tehran is ready for a tactical war”, 18 May 2019

18- Al-Jazeera News Network, “Three scenarios for the future of relations between the United States and Iran ,  April 24, 2020

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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