With Trump Gaging a Hardline Strategy; Iran Must Take a Decision Soon

By Ishaal Zehra

The Reuters reports, quoting some US officials, that President Donald Trump is weighing a more aggressive strategy towards Iran. The proposal which is said to be prepared by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security advisor, H.R. McMaster and other top officials was presented to Trump on 8th of September at the National Security Council meeting, the sources say adding further that it could be agreed and made public before the end of September. Reuters claims that all of the sources are familiar with the draft and requested anonymity because Trump has yet to act on it.

Sources claim that the plan is intended to increase pressure on Tehran to curb its ballistic missile program and support for resistance groups. “I would call it a broad strategy for the range of [alleged] Iranian malign activities: financial materials, support for terror, destabilization in the region, especially Syria and Iraq and Yemen,” contended another senior administration official. “Whatever we end up with, we want to implement with allies to the greatest extent possible,” the official added.

President Trump has been pretty vocal against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal since the days he launched his electoral campaign. Even so, his opposition to the deal is posing a real problem for the US policymakers who are trying to mollify him. While most of his national security aides favor remaining in the pact, trump is acting contrariwise.

“The main issue for us was to get the president not to discard the nuclear deal with Iran. But he had very strong feelings, backed by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, that they should be more aggressive with Iran,” Reuters quoted the US official as saying.

Considering Trump’s reported decision to adopt a more hardline stance toward Iran, Anthony Cartalucci, a geopolitical researcher opines that the new strategy may include more provocative actions against Tehran and is ultimately aimed at reducing Iranian regional and global influence.

While Tehran’s nuclear program has no military aspects and is only for peaceful purposes, which have been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, still the US is looking in a contentious mood.

As if this wasn’t enough to wake Iran up to the new dawn, America’s strongest ally Israel took the argument farther. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while speaking in Argentina alongside Argentine President, said that the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran should be amended or canceled. Further adding that he wanted to correct the impression in recent media reports that Israel’s position on the 2015 deal had softened.

To justify his standpoint, Netanyahu compared Iran to the rouge state of North Korea while saying that “we understand the danger of a rogue nation having atomic bombs.”

Netanyahu accused Tehran of operating a terror machine that encompasses the entire world. He said it’s time to hold Iran accountable for its actions “publically and definitively.”  “It is time to hold Iran fully responsible in a public and final way”.

Today, the way US-Israel policies are unveiling, it’s more of an all hell break loose for Tehran. The sooner Tehran takes a stand point, the better. US and her allies seem skeptic of those Muslim countries who refuse to be her protégé. If the United States can behave such brazenly towards Pakistan; her ally in the GWOT for the last 16 years, what good Iran can expect?

Acting wisely, Pakistan has stood up for herself. After the eminent threat from President Trump, Pak’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, visited the heartfelt countries to revitalize the bilateral relations with them that stiffened over the time. While visiting Iran, he called on Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani to discuss strengthening of brotherly relations between the two countries rooted in their common history, culture and people to people ties and reaffirmed the mutual desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation. Besides, bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan was also an important mutual concern for both the neighbours.

Appreciating the gesture, under such circumstances it is also recommended that both countries must try and reconcile the real situation in the region given the fact that President Trump has shown disinclination for both the countries. Logically this shared hatred of him should bring both Pakistan and Iran closer together to underline the regional prowess.

Formally joining CPEC would also be a good initiative for Tehran since she is already committed with China and Russia. As of now China is investing in Tehran’s infrastructure and energy sector and Iran is already engaged with Russia through the Iran-Russia joint railroad projects in the ambitious North-South Transport Corridor. Among other things, these two were the only countries heavily pushing for special waivers to continue trading with Iran after the UN put sanctions against Iran nuclear programme.

Primarily, CPEC symbolizes a multipolar world order thus challenging the US-dominated unipolar world order and that’s what infuriates the US. The world would be a worthier place to live once this uni-polarity will end. So, this is the time for Tehran to carefully examine the international gimmick and come to a decision. CPEC is waiting with arms wide open.

Author can be reached at ishaal.zehra@hotmail.com

 

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