Tensions between Iran and the United States have escalated since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2015 aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear activities and re-imposing tough sanctions on Iran. Pompeo’s visit to Baghdad embodies a US desire to neutralize the Iraq issue on the sidelines of the high tension in the crisis with Tehran , the US minister, set four key points in the visit by meeting with Iraqi officials and they are as follows : The first point is that Iraq should distance itself from the crisis with a US desire to see Iraq stable and the second is that its role should be neutral for its interests and the interests of its people. ..
The third issue is that the Iraqi government must protect US interests because the US presence is to protect the Iraqis, so the Iraqi government has a pivotal role in protecting the security of US interests.
The four issue is the withdrawal of the popular crowd from the Nineveh Plain . The US minister was happy by the agreement with the American giant “Exxon Mobil” which will provide gas and oil and other needs of Iraq as Pompeo discussed Iraq’s exemption from sanctions where Iraq can import gas and electricity from Tehran.
With this American-Iranian escalation, the Iraqi government was able, thanks to its balanced diplomacy with its neighbor Iran and its US ally, to continue to buy Iranian gas and electricity and to sign with X-Mobil America, and this evidence that the three presidencies in Iraq as some thought equal 3 / zero for the benefit of Iran is incorrect.
The Iraqi government is seeking to keep the potential confrontation between Washington and Tehran away in the wake of escalating threats between the two sides and resolving the outstanding problems by the dialogue and peaceful means, and they – and other countries are counting on easing tension between Tehran and Washington over its invisible diplomatic style .
In his visit to Baghdad, Pompeo stressed the importance of non-aggression by the Hezbollah battalions and the movement of al-Nujaba on US interests in Iraq. According to special information received by the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies, there is a tendency by Iran’s allies in Iraq to target US interests in it, Pompeo told Iraqi leadership that any attack on those interests would be met by a response in the Iranian depth and not on its allies in Iraq or the region.
it seems that the US intelligence information was correct , so as soon as the freezing of Iranian oil exports came into force on May 2, and as a reaction of Iran to that freezing , and as a proof of this and with special information for the Rawabet Center for research and Strategic Studies, the drones of Iraqi Air Force and the Iraqi Army managed to foil a military operation that was aimed at carrying out a missile attack on the US base of Balad , and to prevent the Iraqi government itself any embarrassment or responsibility by the United States of America, it imposed strict protection on all US interests in the Iraq , and also Adel Abdul Mahdi assigned the Green Zone Task Force to tighten the protection of the US embassy and other Western embassies.
Currently, a psychological war of a military and security nature is being waged between Washington and Tehran, from its part the US has sent a US Patriot missile defense system and aircraft carrier to the Middle East amid the escalated tensions with Iran. “and the US aircraft carrier USS Arlington, Carrying amphibious vehicles and fighter aircraft, will join to the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier stationed in the waters of the Gulf, the United States had previously moved the strategic B52 launchers to its military bases in Qatar, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Da Navford said that the move of the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Gulf region was aimed at deterring any possible Iranian attack. Danford said during a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Appropriations that Lincoln was making its way to the Gulf before ordering to speed up its arrival there, after reviewing the intelligence reports warned of the possibility of Iran attacks on US targets.
In an interview with Reuters, US special envoy to Iran Brian Hawk said his country did not want to go to war with Iran but would exert maximum pressure to change its behavior. Hawk warned that any Iranian attack on American targets or on Washington’s allies will be met by force.
He added that Tehran’s announcement to reduce some of its commitments to the nuclear agreement is contrary to international values.
Hawk said that Washington would impose more sanctions on Tehran and noted that Iran had stepped up its intervention in the region after the nuclear agreement , and Tim Morrison, special adviser to the US president and director of weapons of mass destruction and biological defense, said at the National Security Council that the US administration would impose more of the sanctions on Iran very soon.
Morrison stressed that the suspension of exemptions granted to some countries to import Iranian oil was aimed at striking the main source of income of the Iranian regime.
The New York Times reported on Monday that US Defense Secretary Patrick Chanahan had submitted an improved military plan to the administration of President Donald Trump, including scenarios of sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacked US forces or accelerated the production of nuclear weapons.
The newspaper quoted unnamed administration officials as saying that Chanahan presented the plan at a meeting of top security aides of Trump on Thursday.
On the Iranian side , the commander of the Iranian Army’s ground force , Brogadier General Kyumirth Haidari , said the army is ready to counter any aggression against his country strongly and decisively , and he added “The Iranian army is one of the strongest armies in the world and has the military equipment and the manpower to confront the enemy,” , adding that the Iranian forces were capable by relying on the local military industry to defend the country’s security.
The commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Major General Hussein Salami said that the United States is gathering all its forces to terrorize his country through psychological and economic wars and military threat. He added that Iran’s confrontation with its enemies reached its peak and that the Revolutionary Guard’s task is to stand against any conspiracy and aggression against Iran, Salami said that Iran must be ready to defend itself, stressing that the Revolutionary Guard stands at the forefront of this battle and that it will defend the stability and security of Iran.
Speaking of the balance of power between Iran and the United States, of the 400,000,000 active US military and 1,100,000 in reserves, the United States has deployed troops in 750 military bases in at least 130 countries.
According to Iran and to Global Firepower, it ranks eighth in the world in terms of troop size, with a total of 545,000 troops.
The Revolutionary Guard is one of the pillars of the Iranian military force and according to military reports includes about 90 thousand soldiers, while the Quds Force includes about 18 thousand.
Iran has about 480 warplanes in exchange for more than 13,000 fighter jets in the United States.
on the land , Iran has more than 1,600 tanks for about 9,000 tanks in the United States, but the difference is much greater in the number of combat vehicles, where Washington has 30 times that of Tehran, while the two countries are approaching in the number of missile platforms.
The Iranian Navy has about 18,000 military personnel in about 400 naval units, while the United States has 20 aircraft carriers and 430 warships.
Iran has the air defense system Power 373, which is similar to the performance of the Russian system “S 300” and Tehran has a stockpile of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, Iran also has a radar system with a range of 1100 kilometers.
As for the points of friction between Iran and the United States of America, Iran has threatened these days to target US bases in the region if attacked, and identified more than 30 bases in the region, included in the list of targets, and compared those bases to the pieces of meat between Iranian teeth, and Washington said that it will respond to any targeting of its forces or interests.
Gulf waters may be one of the areas of direct contact between Washington and Tehran, and in confrontations that may be indirect and possibly by pro-Iranian forces in different regions of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and the Strait of Hormuz, where the Houthis are located at the Bab al-Mandab Straits.
Each party estimates its military power noting that the power is not only the military power but economic ones as well , as the Iranian economy is currently undergoing its most difficult period , the unemployment rate has exceeded 36 million person looking for a jab , and this figure is a social bomb that can explode at any moment in the face of the ruling regime in Iran, not to mention the harsh US sanctions imposed on the Iranian economy, which with the Trump administration seems to have no end , and in reciprocal in the short term , Trump managed to reduce the unemployment rate in the United States, and this is calculated for him, so he will not easily risk his achievements in the American economy , and if he decided to enter in an open war with Iran , it will be for American reasons , noting that Trump will not fight on behalf of others even they are his allies , the war is not a picnic but it has its political, economic, social, security and military costs, especially in democratic countries such as the United States of America, but there are States calculated on both sides, whether allied or rival or enemy , want to ignite a war between them to achieve their interests, but the war in the end will be a heavy loss, especially on the Iranians.
To accelerate the pace of direct war between Washington and Tehran, a third party may enter the equation of the conflict in igniting it. The United Arab Emirates announced on Sunday evening that four commercial cargo ships were subjected to “sabotage operations” in its waters off Iran, without specifying the nature of these acts or destinations behind it, in a rare incident in the Gulf state, which enjoys great security stability.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement published by the official news agency that «four civilian commercial cargo ships of several nationalities were exposed this morning to sabotage operations in the economic waters of the UAE», near the Emirate of Fujairah, about 115 km from Iran.
The ministry pointed out that «the sabotage operations did not result in any human damage or injuries, and there is no leakage of any harmful substances or fuel from these vessels», adding that is being investigated «on the circumstances of the accident in cooperation with local and international bodies» and the ministry did not clarify the conditions of this rare incident in UAE waters.
Despite more than 24 hours of attacks on four multinational ships in the UAE’s economic waters opposite Iran, uncertainty continues to grow and questions are growing about the nature of the attacks on the ships, the body behind it, the targets and messages it wanted to deliver through these attacks, It is ironic that the ambiguity of the act and the concealment of the perpetrators came amid an unprecedented situation – at least in recent years – of the mobilization, tension and alertness in the Gulf waters, which raised other questions about the identity and motives of those involved in these attacks.
Fearing that this aggression may extend to US interests in Iraq, the US Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement on Sunday calling on its citizens not to travel to Iraq, the embassy advised all its citizens to remain vigilant in the face of the escalated tensions in Iraq. The statement added,”the measures to be taken are” do not travel to Iraq “,” avoid presence in gathering places “,” do not draw attention “and” pay attention to their surroundings. ”
And what increased US alert in Iraq, that the Americans received information from some Iraqis that – tonight – at dawn today , the interests of the US in Iraq will be exposed to the attacks by the allies of Iran, and based on this information, the US administration contacted with the Iraqi political leadership to verify the credibility of this information, according to special information obtained by the Rawabet Center for research and strategic studies, that the information that reached the US Embassy in Iraq and its turn conveyed to the United States were false and baseless , and if some incidents have taken place , they were simple at essence and not by the pro-Iran allies but they were done by other bodies seeking to ignite the military and security situation between Washington and Iran .
In light of this false information, the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq put strict protection on the US diplomatic mission in Iraq, both the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US Consulate in the Kurdistan region and Basra, and protect all US interests in Iraq, because the protection of those interests is the responsibility of the Iraqi government based on the Vienna Conventions governing the operation of missions and diplomatic bodies.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi reassured Washington that the Iraqi situation is stable and that he does not accept ang infringement to the US interests in Iraq, as he seeks through diplomatic channels to calm down the conflict between Washington and Tehran so that things do not go into the unknown and that the two countries are not caught up in the plots against them to ignite a regional war in the region, while at the same time Adel Abdul-Mahdi refuses to violate the security and sovereignty of Iraq, and that Iraq is not a place to settle adversaries accounts on its land.
On the Iranian side, and in order not to slip to the brink of the abyss between Washington and Tehran in Iraq and the region, its allies in Iraq have committed themselves to the utmost restraint, and the legitimate question that arises in this context: who is the body responsible for passing this false information to disturb the dawn of Iraq and Iran and evening of Washington, and put them on high alert for any action and reaction.
And in an significant security development, this time from Saudi territories, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih acknowledged the attack by booby troops drones was carried out on Saudi oil facilities after Huthis announced in Yemen that they had hit vital Saudi facilities in a “major military operation.”Al-Falih said , according to the news agency Saudi Arabia – that two pumping stations for the East-West pipeline, which carries Saudi oil from the oil fields in the Eastern Province to the port of Yanbu on the west coast were attacked by the a booby-trapped drone between six and six and a half (local time) on Tuesday morning, and the Saudi minister sees that this work , which is described as “terrorist and subversive” in addition to “those that have recently occurred” in the Gulf against vital installations, are not only targeting Saudi Arabia, “but the security of energy supplies to the world and the global economy, and again proves the importance of addressing all terrorist organizations that carry out such acts of sabotage including the Houthi militias in Yemen backed by Iran. ”
According to Saudi Press Agency, the national oil company Aramco stopped the pumping of oil in the pipeline, “where the damage is assessed and the repair of the station to restore the line and pumping to normal,” Faleh said that the attack led to a fire at station No. 8, and it was controlled and caused limited damage.
The al-Masirah channel of the al-Houthi group said earlier that the Huthis had carried out a “major military operation” as the Yemeni Houthi group launched an attack, the first of its kind and size on Saudi targets, using seven drones at once. The attack targeted, according to the Houthis, the two pumping stations of Aramco company No. 8 and 9 which supports the flow of oil and gas through gas and oil pipelines from the Eastern Province through the provinces of Dawadmi and Afif, 220 km and 380 km west of the Saudi capital Riyadh.
According to special information received by the Rawabet Center that drones that targeted different parts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “Medina, and the eastern regions” are the product of geo-physics of the Iranian technology, and sources of takeoff are varied , including those launched from within the territory of Yemen towards its objectives in depth Saudi Arabia, and those which were launched through small naval boats, and this operation is a new stage of escalation of the stages of the war between the Arab allies and Houthis, and is part of the US-Iranian tension in the region, which is like an Iranian message to the United States and its allies to know its reaction ” And that Iran will not accept and will not bear the imposition of harsh economic sanctions on it, an operation carried out with the knowledge and approval of the Iranian Revolution Guide and under the direction of the Iranian National Security Council. The question is: Will the United States protect its allies in the Arabian Gulf?
Within 48 hours, the Gulf Arab region witnessed remarkable military developments, the first of which were the bombings of Fujairah, which were not adopted by any side, but the fingerprints of Al-Qaeda terrorist organization are clear by adopting it at the simple depths of the sea to carry out its operation and in cooperation with countries in the region , but al-Houthi group announced about the drones . These actions contributed to the rise of tension in the Gulf and the rise in oil prices. A few days later, investigations will reveal who is behind the Fujairah bombings, and the countries concerned will determine the appropriate method to respond to them.
To sum up, we do not want the sound of drums of war on the eastern and western parts of the Gulf, not in the Arab environment, because they are very expensive for countries and peoples, and to resolve all thorny issues through diplomacy, because it is the most effective way to avoid the region from suffering and woes .
International Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies