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Trump’s war of words against Iran

Donald Trump’s war with Iran is turning into a war of words, but I don’t believe it will escalate into military tensions. Trump remains upset with the deal Obama struck with Tehran and moreover with Obama’s attitude towards Iran, one which Trump broadly sees as weak and overly conciliatory. His continual Tweets about Iran, when viewed together, show a clear pattern of disappointment both with Obama’s Iran policy and with Iran’s attitude and regional ambitions, particularly in respect of Iraq.

Trump’s characterisation of Iran ‘taking over Iraq’ is correct as a matter of record, but he has not proposed any solution to restore Iraq’s independence as a united Arab republic, not least because the damage to Iraq’s integrity is so great, that it may not be possible to ever restore Iraq’s legitimate territorial integrity.

When all is said and done though, Trump’s end game appears not to be a military solution, even though he has said that military action is not off the table. This is instead Trump testing out his hard-line negotiating techniques in geopolitics. He more or less promised to do as he is doing with Iran, during his campaign. He did not, however, advocate for war and I do not believe he is doing so now. The most one will likely see is the on-again, off-again imposition of sanctions as we’ve witnessed today.

READ MORE: US expands sanctions on Iran

One of the more inaccurate Trump Tweets on Iran is when he characterised Iran as being on its ‘last legs’ prior to the so-called Obama deal.

In reality, it was the 2003 Iraq war which gave Iran a new regional lease on life, not that Iran was on the verge of collapse in 2002. Iran was regionally isolated in 2002, but her new found ability to intervene in the political operations of an Arab country increased Iranian prestige and power in the Arab world.

This has manifested itself as Iran treats parts of Iraq like a protectorate, though it has also seen Iran intervene in the Arab world for just causes such as Syria’s fight against terrorism. One could characterise Iran’s intervention in Yemen as equally noble, although there she lacks the clear legal mandate she has in Syria where she is working with an ally in Damascus.

What is clear from all of this is that Trump seems unconcerned with Obama’s two flagship foreign policies: 1. Regime change in Syria. 2. Attempting to (and failing miserably) isolate Russia by funding fascist proxies on Russia’s south-western frontier. If Russia is paying attention and sometimes I wonder if they are, they ought to realise that by focusing almost exclusively on Iran, Trump has given Russia carte blanche in both Syria and Donbass. I wouldn’t put it past Trump and Putin to even discuss this.

Even China hasn’t yet figured into Trump’s foreign policy statements. Thus far it is all about Iran. The war of words will continue and parts of Obama’s deal may be amended, though I think that will be the biggest consequence to come from Trump’s perfect Twitter storm against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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