Sabtain Ahmed Dar
General Qassem Soleimani, head of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force was deliberately assassinated by United States in Baghdad in an attempt to incite sectarian violence and destroy Iran and Saudi Arabia Détente to the strategic advantage of pro-Israel US foreign policy in the Middle East.
General Qassem Soleimani was most arguably the formidable personalities in the region. He was responsible for resistance in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He fought with accuracy and tirelessly to eliminate ISIS from Levant.
His assassination by US has not only set a new unique precedent in International Relations but also in line with interests of the terrorist organizations that has been tarnishing the sovereignty of Muslim states in the Middle East.
This crisis is the direct result of Tehran’s decision on the nuclear deal in 2015 which opened a loophole in Iranian strategy and allowed US exploitation that has never been in line with the International Law.
On 31st December, 2019 the Trump administration without any proofs blamed Soleimani for PMU protests which took place in front of US embassy in Baghdad.
On 5th January, Prime Minister of Iraq, Adil Abdul Mahdi provided additional details into the US assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. According to the available reports, PM Mahdi himself called Soleimani for an official visit to Baghdad for deescalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Soleimani was set to receive de-escalation proposals from Saudi Arabia via Iraq. Mike Pompeo allegedly supported the idea on a phone call with PM Mahdi amid PMU protests in Baghdad.
Therefore, to sabotage the peace initiative between Iran and Saudi Arabia which could have led to the end of anarchy, US set up Soleimani and killed him.
Since April, 2019 officials from Turkey and Syria were engaging Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad to restore order in the Middle East. According to me, Trump gave the orders of his assassination on the behest of Israel lobby in the US who are adopting the policy of divide and conquer to serve its strategic objectives of the New Middle East Project.
There is no other explanation which is closer to the truth than the aforementioned analysis; because the whole US-Israel strategy of warfare in the Middle East is systematically sustained on the Iran and Saudi Arabia divide.
Only this way they intimidate and engage nuclear Pakistan and rest of the Muslim nations into the conflicts that they have been creating since post-911 world order. With the US assassination of Soleimani, the Muslim World is now forced to face new challenges.
These challenges are hybrid and deceptive in nature, and they need to be decoded firmly to counter the effect created by the United States and Israel Lobby from the backdoor. Let us first start with analysis on military buildup and war scenario;
Conventional military confrontation between US and Iran can provoke a major war because it will engage almost all the major powers and their stakes due to Iran’s geographical position. But why we are talking about a war when we know that war does not determine who is right but only who is left?
Firstly, we are talking about war because we have been fed so by the framing of international media.
Secondly, for any sane military strategist, war has always been a “lose-lose” option for all.
Thirdly, there is no conventional “Iranian Threat” to the sovereignty of the United States across the Atlantic Ocean but to Israel in the Middle East. Israel feels threatened and has great influence on the power structure of the United States.
The study of history has taught us that Israel does not hesitate to use US Army and its coalition to serve her foreign policy objectives in the Greater Middle East.
Most importantly, it is not the Americans who want war with the Muslim World; it is the people who control Israel and have profound influence on US who are perpetually destabilizing the Middle East.
The Security Buildup. Before commencing into details about the US military buildup, it is of utmost importance to analyze the efficacy of the notion of “Corporate War Theories”. Wars, specifically in the Middle East have nothing to do with the capture of wealth and resources, these wars are purely based on ideological grounds.
There is no cost for United States when it comes to war; they can create money out of thin air anytime they want through credit creation.
From the herald of Bush’s Crusade against Islam, Ralph Peters’ “Shia-Sunni” (blood borders) map and to the current hybrid war scenario, these conflicts are based on deep ideological vengeance.
Is it merely an accident that Trump used the figure of 52 to target Iranian sites? A: There are no accidents in the language of International Relations, everything is highly organized and constructed. United States was giving symbolic message to Iran in the context of hostage crisis of 1979, when Iran held 52 American hostages.
Every engineered conflict in the Middle East has caused the rise of foreign armies on the Muslim lands. Similarly, the conventional US military buildup in recent times in the Gulf is also of grave significance.
Mystifyingly, the drumbeating of war in the Gulf has become global trend in the past few months. The Strait of Hormuz is most arguably the most significant oil chokepoint in the world because more than 21 million barrels per day flow through it. That is equal to almost ¼ of global petroleum consumption.
Enigmatically, Oil tankers have been destroyed; Iran and Saudi Arabia are pitted against each other. US surveillance drone had been shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) in June, 2019.
Missiles had targeted Saudi installations and Basra sites since last year. Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for an attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities. The US cunningly supported Saudi Arabia against Iran.
US instantly came with its naval armada and 2,500 troops in the Gulf which has escalated economic pressure and building a scenario of a conventional attack against Iran.
Now immediately after killing Soleimani, there is a report on US planning to send 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East from the 82nd Airborne Division as a precaution amid rising threats to US forces in the region. If this is not pointing to a war then what will?
The Choke Point. Firstly, the most important factor in analyzing the current war scenario is militarization of the Strait of Hormuz. The saturation of conventional US military assets in Hormuz is directly threatening the sovereignty of Iran and raising concerns for regional powers. It is the most potent location on the world map where you can trigger a major war between the major powers by just blocking it.
Secondly, it is of grave importance that we must study and see the implications which might follow if Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are isolated and militarily pitted against each other in this hybrid conflict created by US and Israel from the back door.
It would create a dangerous situation for the Muslims around the world where nationalist geographical lines would not be able to stop the anarchy. It would also create a choke point where Muslims themselves become the cause of their suicide.
Early protests in Pakistan and other Muslim states around the region is a key indicator of this notion that Shia-Sunni paradigm which is gaining heat after Soleimani’s assassination can prove to be fatal for the statecraft and sovereignty of the Muslim republics.
This can be an end game that Israel would love to see if everything goes according to the plan. Apparently, Soleimani’s assassination has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. But, the options Iran might follow in retaliation to US can end up triggering a conflict which would pave the way for this unwanted crisis. Here is how;
Trump has refused to pull out US troops from Iraq, indicating that they will not incline to peace and reciprocate. At the outset, this conflict is limited but it could escalate rapidly in case of any miscalculation. For example;
1- Militias attacks against US personnel and installations in Saudi Arabia and Levant.
2- US retaliation against Iranian gunboats and naval vessels.
3- US retaliation against 52 Iranian cultural sites.
4- Iranian missile strikes against US targets.
5- Missile and rocket attacks against Israel and occupied territories by Hezbollah and allies.
6- US can resort to pre-emptive aerial strikes to destroy Iran’s missile and naval prowess.
However, even if such aerial strikes are successful, Iran is unlikely to yield because of its military prowess. Although, Trump has earlier announced that US does not seek a regime change in Iran. But in an effort to win the conflict Trump will have no option but to strike Tehran with full force and replace Iranian regime.
In case of this external attack, it is unlikely that there will be popular movement in Iran to replace the regime, since Soleimani’s assassination has completely shut the door for any color revolution application. Thus, to completely sabotage Tehran administration, United States and its coalition will have to launch an all-out invasion of Iran.
Having case studies of US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, it is an impossible idea to conceive for any military strategist that US and its regional allies would have the stomach for a full-fledged invasion of Iran. So the question is; what US and Israeli military strategists are planning?
The Domino Effect. Iran’s tilt towards major powers such as Russia and China is essential to understand the future implications of US and Iran military confrontation. A conflict with Iran is effectively a conflict with Russia and China. And soon they can be forced to enter into the crisis which can trigger a domino effect that would engulf the entire region into anarchy.
United States on the behest of Israel Lobby have been baiting the Russians since long, China for some time too. In line with the case studies of Libya and Syria, it is my assessment that Iran must not trust Russia and China in any military engagement with US. Russia and China have betrayed Libyans in 2011. They conspiratorially abstained in the UN Security Council and partnered with US from the back door which allowed NATO airstrikes in Libya.
Even if US rivals, Russia and China did not intervene directly or indirectly, on Iran’s behalf, the end game of war with Iran will end up in catastrophe for Iran and other regional countries;
1- The rise of anarchy in Iran with the eruption of ethno-sectarian insurgencies.
2- A war by Iranian forces and Shia militias against US and allied forces and installations in Saudi Arabia (indirectly pitting Tehran and Riyadh against each other).
3- Iran’s initiative of intensification of the conflicts in Levant, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
4- Iranian denunciation of the nuclear deal, nuclear non-proliferation treaty and eventual development of nuclear weapons.
5- A major hiatus in oil exports from the Gulf, skyrocketing prices to new heights.
6- The crash of Stock Markets around the world and a global economic recession.
The Patterns of Propaganda. Firstly, as stated above, this conflict is seemingly limited to Iran and US but on the other hand the patterns of propaganda are also hinting towards an international conspiracy.
India being the most strategic ally of Israel after United States; is leading propaganda that Pakistan has ditched Iran amid Soleimani’s assassination. It is indeed an attempt to incite sectarian violence within Pakistan and raise level of confusion between Tehran and Islamabad.
The spokesperson of Pakistan Army, DG ISPR Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor has clarified and warned the public and media about Indian propaganda. Emphasizing on Pakistan’s stance, ISPR said; “Pakistan has eliminated terrorism and will not allow its territory to be used against anyone”.
Secondly, on 4th January amid rising tensions, Trump claimed that Soleimani was also responsible for terror plots in 2012 in New Delhi. Why Trump is binding India into this conflict with Iran? Is there a larger agenda behind this?
The author in one his articles on the balancing strategy in the Middle East predicted that it is in the interest of the state of Israel if India being her ally raises its stakes in the Middle East.
The author concluded that after Chahbahar port, Indian Reliance Group’s multi-billion engagement with Saudi Aramco and India’s security cooperation with Israel at the same time is hinting towards a new scenario in the geopolitics of the Middle East.
Is India planning to extend its influence in the Middle East with Israel and US on its back? What if tomorrow Indian assets in Iran and Saudi Arabia are attacked by terrorists? These questions are still needs to be seen for further analysis and a nuclear Pakistan should be concerned about it.
The Pakistan Connection. Pakistan’s threat analysis since 2001 is clear in the context of US war on terrorism. Pakistan does not consider the presence of US Army, its coalition and Indian forces in Afghanistan as legit. In the context of Pakistan’s security analysis, the war on terror is a giant hoax which is used as a cover not only to defame Islam but also destabilize Pakistan through hybrid warfare in an attempt to denuclearize it.
A nuclear Pakistan is a huge obstacle to Israel’s quest for Holy Land. With the military buildup since 2001 in Afghanistan, border skirmishes and limited aerial engagements with India on eastern side and now saturation of naval forces in the Gulf raises serious concerns for Pakistan. Neither Pakistan can afford a military confrontation of Iran and United States nor can it take sides in this conflict.
In the context of Israel Lobby’s new Middle Eastern Project, Tel Aviv would not hesitate to use Indian forces to target Pakistan from the eastern side amid Iran US military confrontation. In fact, Pakistan must take diplomatic measures along with Turkey to use this crisis as an opportunity and bring about peace among Iran and Saudi Arabia and end the spell of Sunni-Shia divide.
War is indeed a ‘lose-lose’ option for all. It is true that the principle of “Might is Right” exists at the center stage of this global order and determines its movement. A world where justice has replaced power, and end justifies means regardless of who is good and who is evil. Even then, common sense and a sense of self-preservation should be used to bring about order.
A first step away from the brink should be lobbying at the UN to demand general assembly a proposal to hold an independent inquiry into Soleimani’s assassination. Muslim leaders must lobby major powers and urge the United Nations Security Council to arrange an urgent meeting to demand;
1- Elimination of US troops from Levant and let Muslim national armies eliminate terrorists.
2- End to Houthi missile attacks against Saudi Arabia and Emirati targets.
3- Ceasefire in Yemen.
4- Opening of all avenues for the supply of humanitarian aid to Yemen.
5- A series of summit-level dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia to revolve issues.
Writer is a Geopolitical Analyst.