The military-political situation around the Persian Gulf is heating up right before our eyes. On Saturday, the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud convened an emergency summit in connection with the deterioration of relations with Iran, reports SPA. A source at the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom told the agency that the countries of the League of Arab States and the Council of Cooperation of the Gulf States were invited to participate.
Meanwhile, the Americans are preparing a direct military invasion of Iran. True, for now – more on paper. Because they understand: to repeat the “small victorious war”, as it was in Iraq in 1990 or even in 2003, they will not succeed. In the case of the start of real hostilities, they may be delayed for many years. And ricochets will hit dozens of countries.
“The US missile strike on Iran is inevitable and will lead to the opening of the“ gates of hell, ”writes the Lebanese newspaper Ad-Diyar. And he continues: “Get ready for the great American-Iranian war.”
So what is happening there today?
All week long, extremely alarming news came from the Middle East. Moreover, their main “supplier” now was not at all Syria, but Iran.
On May 13, four oil tankers were blown up in the exclusive sea zone of the United Arab Emirates, near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. According to the Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, Khalid al-Falih, of the oil tankers injured in the exclusive economic zone of the UAE (200 nautical miles), two belong to his country. At least one more – under the Norwegian flag.
Tankers headed to the Persian Gulf. However, as Arab officials were quick to assure, there is no threat to navigation in the Strait of Hormuz yet. There are no oil spills or human casualties. But things can change for the worse in a matter of days.
What is important: no country or armed group has yet claimed responsibility for sabotage. But unexpectedly, on Saturday, May 18, the Norwegian Maritime Insurers Association NSMWRIA reported that a surface vessel had attacked the tankers, firing fragmentation projectile drones on them.
The Norwegians blamed the attack on the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. And although this, of course, cannot be considered an official statement, but the fact is evident!
Moreover, the day before, on Thursday, Deputy Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Salman, directly accused Iran of organizing a sabotage on the main oil pipeline owned by Saudi Aramco, the state oil company. According to Saidov’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, the pipeline was also attacked by drones with explosives from Yemen’s territory, controlled by the Hussite rebels from the Ansar alla movement. It is believed that they are supported by finance and weapons Tehran.
Aramco was forced to stop pumping oil through the blasted pipeline (but oil production did not stop).
Saudi Arabia’s response to “Iranian” sabotage was not long in coming. Saudi combat aircraft immediately attacked the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. The result of this rocket bombing was a large number of civilian casualties. Among the injured were two Russian citizens.
In words, Trump is a lamb. In fact – the shark.
Support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE hastened to express Egypt. Israel was also an unwitting ally of the listed Arab states. According to the influential newspaper The New York Times, Israeli intelligence agencies provided Washington with intelligence on Iran’s readiness to strike at facilities of the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf.
Many officials, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, have responded to the growing tensions around Iran. US President Donald Trump, who had previously spoken about Iran exclusively in an aggressive tone, said he was not interested in a direct armed conflict with Iran.
True, the words of the American president pointedly contrast with the actions of the Pentagon: the United States sent an entire squadron led by the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to the Persian Gulf, carrying almost a hundred combat and reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters. At the same time, The New York Times reported on the plan developed by the United States Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to send 120,000 US troops to the Middle East. In case Iran nevertheless makes an attempt to attack objects of the United States or its allies in the region.
In response, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, said his country was ready for a direct military confrontation with the United States, which the major general called “a paper tiger with osteoporosis.”
About how likely the possibility of a direct military confrontation between Iran and the United States is, an expert on the Middle East, senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Mikhail Roshchin said:
– I still do not see anything except mutual threats. Usually, Americans are thoroughly preparing for a serious war. Say, while George W. Bush was often criticized for his lack of intelligence, he prepared the invasion of Iraq very carefully. Created a coalition and gained some international support. There is nothing like this yet.
– Why the “nuclear deal” planned by Trump between Moscow, Beijing and Washington may not take place?
Perhaps the Americans hope more for military assistance not from Europe, but from the Arab monarchies? After all, they have already expressed readiness to fight with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and even Egypt!
– Of those countries that you named, only Egypt is able to conduct normal military operations. But something in me does not believe that it is ready to get involved in a full-scale war with Iran. Why does Cairo need it? Unclear!
Ground operation in Iran is simply not prepared. And, if it suddenly starts, it will definitely not become a “walk”, like the American invasion of Iraq. Then the Americans managed to “outbid” on their side many Iraqi generals, including the head of defense of Baghdad. With Iran, this will not work!
In addition, air strikes on Iran or the war at sea can lead to a direct invasion of Iranian forces and Hezbollah into Israeli territory. Then just all of us will not find it!
And what a real sea war in the Persian Gulf can lead to – Iran has recently made it clear. It seems to me that the “hot” heads in Washington began to calm down after that.
– But then why all continue this “saber-rattling of armor”: Iran’s accusations of sabotage, sea maneuvers off its shores ?!
– Now that Trump has finally fought off the attacks of the American democrats, for him to engage in a desperate adventure in Iran would be a political suicide. I think in the case of Iran he uses his classic tactics of bluffing and threats.
But it is quite possible, I think, not a ground operation, but pinpoint air strikes on Iranian territory. But with their help, you can not win the war – you can only annoy the Iranian leadership.
In principle, the Iranians, together with Hezbollah, in response, could aggravate the situation on the Syrian-Israeli border.
– The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, said he was against the war. But his generals – on the contrary, with might and main to fight for it.
– Iran, of course, is configured in combat. He has soldiers and officers who have gained combat experience in Syria. Americans will continue to provoke Iran. But, I repeat, they are not yet ready for a big war. Although, of course, in the Persian Gulf a slide into a new military conflict is planned, in comparison with which the lasting eighth year war in Syria will seem to mankind on a modest scale as an armed conflict.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during which he urged the United States to act cautiously with Iran and not exacerbate the situation. About this on Saturday, May 18, reported “RIA Novosti” with reference to the Foreign Ministry of China.
- We hope that all parties will remain restrained, to act cautiously to avoid escalation of tension, – said Van I.