Picture of Shah Ismail Safavi (Safawy or صفوی) riding into Tabriz in front of his red coated Qizilbash militia to crown himself Shah in 1501 AD.
If, according this site, a US-Israeli war against Iran is out of the question, then what do Trump’s aggressive tweets against Iran actually amount to? It is not a hidden secret that the U.S. and Israel have been supporting anti-régime protesters for at least a decade, and that clandestine networks in Iran have been created by the US to provide Western media outlets with news stories about disruptions in Iran. Obama failed to shake the Iranian régime using those methods, which were partly designed to be a build up to a potential war.
Not that after the debacle in Iraq, such a war was ever realistic in international-diplomatic terms, but whatever potential was there became less and less feasible at time went on. In the final Obama days we find Iranian militias fighting against ISIS-DAESH in Iraq alongside US troops. Furthermore, Obama never said a word against the excesses of Iranian militias in Syria. Iran’s regional strength merely increased over the years, and its presence as a dominant force in four Arab capitals – Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a – was a stupendous testament to the inevitable unintended consequences of sheer idiotic unthinking policy. It was the total failure of the bellicose US/Israeli stance towards Iran, which led to Obama’s surprise phone call to Rouhani (as he was leaving the UN Building in Sept 2013 to take a flight back home after the General Assembly that year), which in turn would lead to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear) 5+1 agreement.
Having blithely withdrawn from the JCPOA, and begun a new campaign of sanctions and bullying against Iran, Trump is metaphorically at war with Iran now. But any casual observer of US policy in the Middle-East will understand that “bringing democracy” to Iran is hardly the priority of those (Israel, Saudi and UAE) who are currently driving Trump’s policy on Iran. Trump’s crazily aggressive tweeting and Pompeo’s pompous announcement of yet another anti-régime Farsi channel, bringing the total of anti-Iran channels broadcasting now to 301, only add up to a policy objective of destabilisation per se. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and UAE simply want to see Iran brought down to the chaotic level of Syria, and Iraq, in order to “defang” it.
The problem they will find is that Iran is socially differently constituted to both those poor benighted countries. Just a little historical reading going back to how the Safavids reacted to Ottoman expansion (see picture above) and how that created the new type of (anti-Sunni, Shi’a) Iran that we have today, might not only give them pause for thought, but frighten them into altering their policies. However, policy makers dealing with this issue are not the reading type it seems. Nor are they thinking types either, for only a little research into Iranian methods of power-projection (demographic change through ethnic cleansing and formation of ideological militias) clearly evident in Iraq, Syria and Yemen today, demonstrates the brutal continuity of the Safavid system.
Smiling Iraqi politicians doing deals with Saudi Arabia, and Muqtada al-Sadr’s earlier visits to Mohamed bin Salman, seem clearly to have lifted Saudi expectations that they might be able to exert some new influence on the country. That is a pipe dream. Not only will Iraq stay firmly within the Iranian sphere of influence, but this site predicts that, as the US and Israel proceed with a policy of maximum destabilisation of Iran, Iran will respond by massively destabilising Saudi Arabia, sending a brittle self-undermining Saudi régime crashing, and bringing with it an accelerating end to US influence in the Middle East.
That is what Rouhani means when he says that, while blocking the Straits of Hormuz and thus causing the collapse of financial markets worldwide is quite within Iran’s power, it isn’t relevant to the current situation as it is playing out. There is no conventional war underway. Instead, we have a war of ideas, one where the US has long since lost its capacity and its power. The US having properly sullied, degraded and betrayed the ideas of the Enlightenment, it will be Safavid medieval ideas that will win the day.