Trump’s Neocons, with virtually no opposition from the Democrats, went to the final stage of trade warfare against Iran, by eliminating all wavers for Iranian oil exports into China, Turkey, Italy, India, Japan, Greece, Taiwan, and South Korea. Turkey’s Foreign Minister said that ending wavers for Iranian crude won’t serve regional peace and stability, but will harm the Iranian people; he rejected American unilateralism. Similarly, the Chinese Foreign Minister stated that Iranian-Chinese commerce is lawful and transparent and must be respected.
Mike Pompeo warned non-compliant state actors with trade sanctions. The Trump administration is practicing gunboat diplomacy, perfectly emulating the philosophy and means of the [defunct] British Empire, against the entire world, even its allies [many of whom are de facto US occupied territories, like Western Europe & the Balkans]. For those upstart enthusiasts who claim NATO is an alliance, and not an occupation, I ask them – how many European troops and European military bases are on United States soil? None. I rest my case.
In response to this final stage of commercial aggression, Teheran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of global crude output destined for foreign markets travels through the Strait, that’s also about one third of seaborne oil. Saudi and US oil exporters are eager to expand production, in order to cover the [geopolitical] shortfall from Iranian and Venezuelan crude, and gain a higher market share as a result. Still, the closing of the Strait of Hormuz would bring about harsh consequences, especially for the Gulf states, and a prolonged conflict might leave countries like UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar extremely vulnerable. The navigable portion of the Strait is only 2 miles wide. Back in 1980-1988, there was the tanker war between [US-sponsored] Iraq and Iran. In the final year of that conflict, the American USS Vincennes shot down Iranian civilian air flight 655, killing all 290 souls on board.
As if in a trans-national orchestrated fashion, after the bombings in Sri Lanka against Christian churches, claimed by ISIS [a servitor faction of Washington, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv], the Saudi government engaged in mass executions, beheading 37 people, one of them a 16-year old boy, whom they crucified to serve as an example. These individuals were condemned for alleged terrorist activities, and they were all Shias [a religious minority in Saudi Arabia and a minority within the Muslim world]. Note: Iran is predominantly a Shia Muslim country. In fact, King Salman, so praised by Trump as a great guy, began his rule a few years ago – not with a general pardon of prisoners [a centuries old custom if not older, applied by new rulers to redress bad blood and wipe the slate clean with a gesture of mercy] but with the largest executions since 1980, beheading 47 and shooting four. These are your tyrannical and murderous regimes, folks, not those in Cuba and Venezuela. If you participate in a protest against the Saudi Government, you get killed. If you criticize Formula 1 in Bahrain [a stooge regime of the Saudis], you have your citizenship revoked. Contrast that state of affairs to Guaido, touring Venezuela, trying to incite the military to rebel against Maduro’s government.
Now, to play devil’s advocate for a moment, several months ago Trump publicly threatened the Saudi King with “you won’t last two weeks without us,” so without a second great power getting involved in that region, divergence from Washington’s instructions that the Saudis might wish to pursue is ruled out – not that they have any desire to come to a peaceful understanding with Teheran.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, a key founder of the US-Iran nuclear agreement, and a most sensible humanist, handed out his resignation two months ago. His gesture came in frustration with the government, after he was excluded from meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was visiting Teheran back in February. Iran’s President, however, Hassan Rouhani rejected Zarif’s resignation, saying that his leave would not serve the country’s interests. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei remained circumspect from the beginning, and his wariness was not misplaced, for Trump, after pulling the US out of the nuclear agreement, was quick to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Iran is left with no other option but to get in gear for a full-on war, since Washington already declared it. Despite all the diplomatic work put in by the Iranian moderates, there’s no understanding to be reached with the Neocons and, no doubt, Netanyahu can’t wait for the war’s arrival. I say this without a shadow of a doubt, the alliance between Christian Zionism, Jewish Zionism, and Wahhabism is the greatest threat to world peace in the 21st century.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.