Regime change in Iran is part of the grand strategy for the Middle East formed at that fateful meeting in Riyadh during Trump’s first overseas visit.
US President Donald Trump is intent on war with Iran and is trying to lure the government in Tehran into a trap. The evidence for this is apparent. Trump has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and is reimposing US sanctions. He has also threatened sanctions against any other country that buys Iranian oil. The US is providing military support to Saudi Arabia and Israel to attack Iranian positions in Yemen and Syria.
The US and Israel are also trying to put together a deal with Russia whereby Assad is allowed to stay in power in Syria if he expels all the Iranian military forces there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week to discuss this potential deal that will be high on the agenda for Trump’s meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki on July 16.
But these steps alone will not topple the Iranian regime, despite the economic hardship and popular discontent the new sanctions are causing. The Iranian government is telling its people over and over again that their hardships are the result of external aggression and echoes the narrative the Iranian hardliners have always spun — that the US is an implacable enemy. The Revolutionary Guard is threatening to block the Straits of Hormuz if the confrontation escalates. Trump would be delighted if Iran could be provoked into intercepting a foreign-flagged ship crossing the straits, giving America a casus belli: The US could proclaim that the Iranians intend to block 30% of the world’s oil supply and that a military attack on Iran is the only way to stop them.
Plans for a military attack are apparently already in preparation. Israel and the United States formed a joint working group a few months ago focused on encouraging insurrection within Iran. The Israel Defense Forces just appointed Major General Nitzan Alon as the first director of a special IDF project to coordinate all issues related to the battle against Iran. Alon visited the US to begin joint planning two weeks ago.
Regime change in Iran is part of the grand strategy for the Middle East formed at that fateful meeting in Riyadh with the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt during Trump’s first overseas visit. The strategy is an alliance between the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf (minus Qatar, which refuses to cooperate), Egypt and Israel to confront Iran.
Along the way the Palestinian issue needs to be neutralized as this provides leverage for Iran to undermine Israel’s ambitions in the region. The so-called “deal of the century” that Jared Kushner keeps promising to reveal soon will actually be no more than an ultimatum to the Palestinians to accept a Vichy France-style sub-state in return for some Saudi and UAE funded development aid. An additional side deal to split off the Gaza Strip and make it economically and politically dependent on Egypt is part of the mix — a project again to be funded by the Saudi and UAE governments. In return for this financial support, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will ally with the US and Israel to roll back Iranian presence throughout the region and ultimately achieve regime change.
This policy has not been discussed in Congress or the parliaments of Israel or any European country, let alone the consultative assemblies in the Middle East. Regime change and war with Iran is a policy constructed by Jared Kushner, John Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu, MBS and MBZ. The Europeans are against it, but apparently the sane voices in Washington have been sidelined. The last to go was Rex Tillerson. Trump himself of course has little clue, but in Orwellian fashion he does know that his base believes that “Iran is bad” and “Israel is good.” Any further investigation into the complications of the region is beyond him.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.