Iran asks Trump not to “fall into the trap” of ordering an attack before leaving the White House, but is that in his plans?
Iran asks Trump not to “fall into the trap”
MilitaryEzyInfo.com | Last November, President Donald Trump asked his senior advisers about possible options for an attack on Iran, the New York Times then revealed.
According to that report, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley warned Trump that a missile attack, or even a cyberattack, on Iran’s facilities could easily escalate to a larger conflict.
But within weeks of the president leaving the White House, troop and arms movements to the region, as well as alleged pressure from Israel and Saudi Arabia that the possibility of such an attack taking place remains in place.
This Saturday, Iran’s Chancellor Mohamad Javad Zarif called on Trump, not to “fall” into the alleged trap that Israel’s intelligence services would be mounting to trigger a clash between the two nations.
The Iranian minister’s warning comes on the first anniversary of General Qassem Soleimani’s death in a drone bombardment by U.S. forces in Iraq.
“New intelligence from Iraq indicates that Israeli provocative agents are preparing attacks against Americans, placing outgoing Trump at a crossroads with a false cause to justify a war,” the chancellor said in a message on his Twitter account.
And he advised the outgoing representative, “Beware of a @realDonaldTrump, any fire is going to be badly counterproductive.”
The Iran issue appears to be grounds for division within a Pentagon recently purged by President Trump, who fired the former secretary of defense, while other officials called for resignation following the move. This was demonstrated by statements to CNN on Thursday by senior department officials about the alleged Iranian threat against U.S. forces in the Middle East.
While some claim that imminent action by Iran and Iraq’s Shiite militias is expected on January 3rd on the first anniversary of Soleimani’s death, other officials assured CNN that this threat is being oversized and that there is no intelligence to corroborate that possibility.
Troop and armament movement
Meanwhile, as an alleged deterrent to the possibility of Iranian retaliation for Soleimani’s death, the United States has been making major troop and arms movements in the region in recent months.
Since October, the Pentagon has deployed some 2,000 troops and an additional squadron of fighter jets in Saudi Arabia. On three occasions B-52 bombers have been sent on missions in the Persian Gulf and it was announced that they will send a submarine equipped with Tomahawk missiles to the area. So did Israel, Iran’s historic enemy and U.S. ally, who last month sent a submarine into the Persian Gulf in a deployment of force that did not go unnoticed in several regional capitals.
In addition, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier had been deployed in the Gulf, although on Wednesday the acting secretary of defense decided not to extend his stay there, in what could be misunderstood as a sign of de-scalding and another symptom of the Pentagon’s internal divisions.
Pressure from Israel and Saudi Arabia
This Thursday, the Arab-language Dar Al-Hayat newspaper released a report quoting anonymous U.S. sources, ensuring that Israel and Saudi Arabia are pressuring the Trump administration to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving the White House, seeking to sabotage possible negotiations between Biden and the Iranian regime to seek another agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Biden was part of the first agreement reached under Obama’s presidency, while he was vice president.
However, the Middle East Eye regional media published an exclusive at the end of November in which it claimed, citing Saudi sources, that the kingdom’s first heir, Mohammed bin Salman, had been reluctant to support Israeli Prime Minister Bejamín Netanyahu’s proposal for an attack on Iran in a tripartite meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
According to that medium, Pompeo also did not commit to the attack on Iran’s uranium processing facilities at that meeting.
In recent months, several actions and sabotage have taken place against Iranian facilities, of which Tehran blames Israel. Indeed, Israeli officials have confirmed to some U.S. media that their country was responsible for the assassination last November of scientist Mohsen Fakrizadeh, one of the leading leaders of Iran’s nuclear program.
What would be Trump’s motivations?
Analyst Trita Parsi, executive vice president of Quincy High School and author of the book ‘Losing an Enemy’, believes that the next three remaining weeks of Trump’s presidency will be the most dangerous in tensioned relations with Iran.
According to Parsi, whatever Trump’s motivations, “he’s probably miscalculating.” “His entire policy towards Iran has been a disastrous failure and has shown no ability to learn from his mistakes over the past four years.”
“Could Trump seek to start a military confrontation with Iran in the hope of creating enough chaos to prevent Joe Biden from taking office in January?” asks Parsi in his column. “There is no reason to believe that such a tactic would work, but that the idea is far-fetched is not a compelling reason why a desperate Trump would not try,” he added.
According to Parsi, if Trump were to finally succeed in bringing about military action against Iran, he would gain at least the backing of evangelical Christians who “see confrontation with Iran as the fulfillment of the end-of-time prophecy in the book Apocalypse.”
He would also have the support of the Republican Party’s increased financial backing, Sheldon Adelson, whom Trump has pleased with other pro-Israel measures, such as the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, a gesture that the AP called “the last of a long list of diplomatic gifts President Donald Trump gave Nethanyahu,” as well as the fact that he had moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
But while a confrontation with Iran does not prevent Biden from finally reaching the White House, Trump could calculate, according to Parsi, that he will at least end the nuclear deal with Iran at once, guaranteeing support from Adelson and the evangelicals, key figures in consolidating further control over the Republican Party, already fragmented against accusations of electoral fraud or Trump’s demands to accept federal funds.
Iran asks Trump not to “fall into the trap”, but is that in his plans?