Iran Under Fire

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Three countries in the Middle East are in anguish, devastated by the “Arab Spring,” which has yet to offer any rewards for the region. In the process, Iraq, Libya and Syria have been devastated by foreign aggression neatly labeled as “civil wars.”

Millions have been killed and even more displaced internally. Yet, Messieurs Mike Pompeo and John Bolton are not satisfied with the existing bloodbath in the region and have convinced their unpredictable boss, Donald Trump, to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal signed by seven nations, including the US, signaling the beginning of a new war with Iran.

This initiative has emboldened Israel to bomb the Tartus military base in Syria, to invite Iran to retaliate in kind and to warrant Washington’s protective cover of its US ally. That is why Patrick Buchanan, a former presidential candidate, defines it as “Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu] wants the US to fight for Israel.”

Unfortunately, that is what is actually happening, never mind that the cost for the US is $3 trillion, which could be put to better use.

Now, more bloodbaths are on the way because of the insanity that has been unleashed. Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor to President Obama, wrote in an opinion piece in the New York Times this week: “President Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal will not force Iran back to the negotiating table, nor will it address serious concerns about Iran’s behavior in the Middle East. But, it will leave Iran’s nuclear program unconstrained and an inconsistent America isolated from its allies and far less safe.”

Had the consequence of Mr. Trump’s action been confined to what Ms. Rice described, it would have been more benign than what is yet to come.

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As Mr. Buchanan predicted, “we appear to be at the beginning of a new war and how it ends we know not. But for Bibi and National Security Advisor John Bolton, the end always has been clear — the smashing of Iran and regime change.”

Iran is not Iraq, nor Libya. The conflict in the offing may prove to be more disastrous, with serious regional and worldwide ramifications, which may also ricochet back to harm Israel.

Iran has its political tentacles extended throughout the Middle East, which may render the conflict bloodier. Plus, Iran has learned, as the world has learned, that giving up its defenses like Iraq and Libya did, does not guarantee peace and security; it encourages even more aggression.

Mr. Trump’s unilateral actions leave the US allies and other signatories to the Iran deal in limbo. France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Washington yielded nothing except for a lavish banquet and Mr. Trump’s mock dusting of a spec from Mr. Macron’s shoulder.

The US allies have been put on notice that they may also suffer the consequences of the new sanctions against Iran, should they continue to trade with her. Turkey, a NATO ally, which had been superheating its economic relations with Iran to bring the trade between the two countries from the present $9.7 billion to $30 billion, will be first to suffer from the US actions.

The New York Times, in tune with the majority of the news media, has taken the initiative to publish a piece warning of the consequences of the president’s rash decision: “When it comes to danger of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, there is no sign Iran or any other major powers in the existing and so far successful pact will simply fall in line with Mr. Trump’s new plan; more likely, his decision, announced on Tuesday [May 8], will allow Iran to resume a robust nuclear program, sour relations with close European allies, erode America’s credibility, lay conditions for a possible wider war in the Middle East and make it harder to reach a sound agreement with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program.”

But the Trump administration has been using just the reverse rationale — that strong pressure on North Korea forced that regime to come to the negotiating table and the same policy will be applied to Iran, expecting the same results. What the administration does not fess up to is that it does not intend nor afford to go to a nuclear confrontation with North Korea and will be satisfied with a face-saving deal. However, when it comes to Iran, all the pretexts and excuses are intended to ignite a war. That war will not only reward Mr. Netanyahu, but it will also be in line with the general scheme of pressuring Russia, a neighbor and ally of Iran.

The prospect of such a war will have devastating consequences for Armenia since Iran is its only reliable outlet to the outside world. First of all, Iran is Armenia’s major trading partner, after Russia. Next, there are several economic plans on board with Iran that promise economic prosperity for Armenia. These plans will be the first casualties of war.

On the other hand, our Christian neighbor, Georgia, has played a duplicitous game with Armenia, arbitrarily closing the border, plus forbidding the transit of any armaments to Armenia for its self-defense. All arms have been reaching Armenia through a circuitous route.

A war with Iran will spill over into Armenia, which is just across the border. In such a scenario, Azerbaijan’s policy is obvious: it will serve as a launching pad for the US and Israeli forces, which will also pressure Armenia to play a similar role to demonstrate its sympathy towards the West. This action which will force the country into suicide.

At this point, the Velvet Revolution has taken over the country and people are intoxicated and euphoric, but they need to realize that a rude awakening may not prove to be too far.

The storm is gathering in the region and all indications indicated that Armenia needs to put its house in order in preparation of the calamity.

We do not have the luxury of savoring the people’s victory for long. As Armenia recovers from the revolution, it has to watch its borders and brace for harder times.

 

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