US and Iran are on the verge of war, Russian experts comments
MOSCOW, (BM) – As a result of the American special operation, the commander of the special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Al-Quds was killed General Kassem Suleimani. President Trump personally gave the killings. So in the United States responded to the recent assault on their embassy in Baghdad. In Tehran, they promised to brutally take revenge on those involved in the murder. How serious will the retaliation be and will the war between the US and Iran begin?
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has promised “tough revenge” for the assassination of General Kassem Suleimani, the head of the Al-Quds special forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC, Iran’s elite forces). According to Khamenei, who declared a three-day mourning in the country, “revenge awaits those on whose hands his (Suleimani) blood remained, as well as the blood of other martyrs.”
The ex-commander of the IRGC, Secretary of the Expediency Council (advisory body to the supreme leader) Mohsen Rezai also spoke about the upcoming retaliation. “Kassem Suleimani, the deceased by the death of a martyr, has joined his brothers and will avenger revenge on the USA,” Rezai threatened.
Lieutenant General Kassem Suleimani and the deputy head of the Iraqi militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who invited a senior military man to Baghdad, were killed at a time when a convoy of cars moved from the capital’s airport. American aviation fired at least four missiles on two motorcade. At the time of the strike, the cars were near the cargo terminal. Other missiles hit the military facilities of the Iraqi army and the international coalition.
In addition to Suleimani and al-Muhandisa, at least 10 people were killed, who were also in the motorcade. These are mainly security guards. The moment of the rocket strike was captured by eyewitnesses.
A few hours after the news of the killing of Suleymani, Ali Khamenei appointed Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, “who is one of the prominent commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps during the holy defense (Iran-Iraq war)”.
However, the General Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Iran, Rajab Safarov, called Suleimani a large-scale and legendary personality, which is absolutely impossible to replace. The political scientist considers the incident “the most striking act of international terrorism on the part of the United States.” “In the military structures of Iran there is no person of such a gigantic scale. Suleimani was a very well-read man, a philosopher. Especially attractive were his humanitarian views.
The interlocutor believes that now the general will be considered the most important martyr in Iran, he will be elevated to the rank of a modern prophet, because he was “the brightest and most authoritative person not only in Iran, but also in other countries of the Middle East where there are pro-Iranian sentiments.” “Suleimani was a kind of balance in the Middle East. He always tried to prevent a lot of blood, ”the expert recalled.
Andrei Kortunov, Director General of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs (INF), called Suleimani an outstanding personality and major organizer. “He was the leader of the most conservative forces in the Iranian elite. The liquidation of Suleimani is an effective way to send a signal to everyone: the Democrats who accused Trump of inaction, and the American partners in the Middle East, especially the Gulf, that “we have not forgotten about you.” This is a signal to Iran that any escalation by Tehran, especially if the lives of the Americans are threatened, as it was the other day in Baghdad, the country will face a serious rebuff. And as Trump himself said, this is a signal to the Iraqis: there is hope that it will be possible to slightly reduce Iranian influence in Iraq, ”Kortunov told VZGLYAD newspaper.
The Al-Quds battalion is one of the most combat-ready units of the IRGC and is actively involved in military conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The effectiveness of the special forces was largely determined by Suleymani’s abilities. The Popular Mobilization Force (Al-Hashd al-Shaabi) is a coalition of Shiite, Yezidi and Christian militias fighting on the side of the Iraqi government against the militants of the Islamic State *.
The Pentagon claimed responsibility for the special operation, saying that U.S. President Donald Trump gave the order to open fire, who then posted a photo of the American flag on his Twitter page without any explanation.
The Pentagon recalled that Suleimani was on the US list of foreign terrorists. The ministry claims that the Iranian general allegedly “was actively working on plans to attack American diplomats and military personnel in Iraq and other countries in the region.” In addition, Suleimani “approved the attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad.”
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused al-Muhandis of the US embassy in the attack. On Friday, Pompeo said on Twitter that Iraqis are rejoicing in the killing of Suleimani. “Iraqis are Iraqis! – dance in the streets in support of freedom. They are grateful that General Suleymani is no longer there, ”wrote Pompeo.
At the same time, the State Department urged Americans to leave Iraq immediately because of increased tension in the country. A statement from the US embassy in Iraq states that “US citizens must leave the country by plane if this seems possible” or head to other countries by land.
Political opponents of Trump from the US Democratic Party said that because of the murder in the region, a war would break out. The US Congress was not aware of the special operation, although it should be notified of this in 48 hours.
Note that a sharp aggravation of the situation in the Middle East occurred on December 29 after a US missile strike against the allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad in Iraq. Following this, on December 31, hundreds of demonstrators began to storm the US Embassy in Baghdad, a fire started. As a result, the US ambassador “left Iraq in an unknown direction.” Trump said that Iran was behind this attack and promised to punish Tehran. In response, Iran threatened to “inflict a heavy blow to those who would threaten Iranian interests.”
Rajab Safarov is convinced that “now Trump“ will be scared to the end of his days for his life, ”because by order to eliminate Suleymani,“ he elevated America to the rank of an irreconcilable enemy of the Iranian people ”
and showed that for the US there are no laws of international law. ” “I know that dozens of groups are ready to personally take revenge on Mr. Trump. They will not calm down until they reach their goal. They are sleeping in America, and Trump feels like a hero, because he eliminated the most famous general in the Middle East. But this bravado will end within the next few hours or a maximum of days, ”Safarov is sure.
According to him, now not only regional, but also world security is a big question. “If earlier only a part of the Iranian population looked at the United States with distrust and hatred, now this is a nation-wide contempt. Now the Iranian government has a problem how to manage this popular tsunami, which can cause a chaotic reaction in all directions and the process will turn out to be uncontrollable, ”Safarov warned.
The expert believes that the world was on the verge of a great war and there was a threat of the beginning of great bloodshed in the Middle East. In retaliation, Iran could strike Israel, “which supplied the Americans with information about the whereabouts of pro-Iranian forces in Iraq” or the oil arteries of the Persian Gulf. Against the background of these proposals, world oil prices have already skyrocketed by 4%. Tehran may also punish “US accomplices in the face of the Arab Gulf countries” or attack US military bases in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. “It will be a long-term response. The United States will be very difficult to stay in the region and help the Gulf countries, since it is clear that now they are all on their ears and with trembling voices await Iran’s response. Many states and even different regions can be involved in this process, ”Safarov predicts.
Moscow called the killing of Suleimani an adventurous step that could lead to increased tension throughout the region. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the general “devotedly served the cause of protecting Iran’s national interests.” “We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people,” the Foreign Ministry added.
The United States expects retaliation, said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee. In a conversation with RIA Novosti, the senator said that the death of Suleymani is “the worst-case scenario that looks very much like the revenge of the Americans” for attacking the US embassy in Baghdad in late December last year. “And if this is so, then retaliation, alas, will not keep itself waiting,” Kosachev believes.
Safarov is convinced that Russia should condemn Suleimani’s murder in the sharpest possible way and make urgent contact with the Iranian leadership in order to try to soften Tehran’s response and prevent events from developing in the worst case scenario. “As a member of the UN Security Council, Russia must respond to this egregious fact of international terrorism,” said Rajab Safarov.
Andrei Kortunov is convinced that Trump does not need a military conflict with Iran, because “in his personal philosophy he is against wars.” “Getting involved in a serious war with Iran on the eve of the presidential election is a gift to the democrats. Such a war cannot be short; these are inevitable major losses. Iran is a powerful regional power that has long been preparing for such a war. One cannot count on an easy victory, ”Kortunov said.
The interlocutor admits that Iran has many tools to respond to the murder of Suleimani, but “most of them are unlikely to reach the United States.” “But of course, you can touch the American allies from the territory of Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the UAE may be under attack. This can be done from the territory of southern Lebanon, which is controlled by Hezbollah and then Israel is under attack. The objects of the attack may turn out to be the American military remaining in Iraq and Syria. There may be some “surprises.” But Iran, like Trump, is not interested in a major war. Still, things will not come to a serious escalation, ”concluded Andrey Kortunov.
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Author: Andrey Rezchikov
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BGM`s editorial stance.