A Complex Scenario for Iran: Pre-emptive War!
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A Complex Scenario for Iran: Pre-emptive War!

By Mehdi Dehnavi
Contributing Analyst

Image Attribute: A file photo of IRGC Navy patrol boat in Strait of Hormuz / Source: IRNA

Image Attribute: A file photo of IRGC Navy patrol boat in Strait of Hormuz / Source: IRNA

Following a policy of maximum pressure from the United States on Iran, particularly by boycotting its oil export, Iran's revenue has declined significantly this way while the Arab countries of the region have been protecting the decision of the US government, by increasing their sales across the global markets, to replace Iran's lost barrels and prevent oil prices from rising.

Following these incidents, Iran threatened again to close the Strait of Hormuz. No doubt, this gave Trump’s administration a pretext to deploy additional troops to the Persian Gulf in order to guarantee the security of the Strait of Hormuz.

Meanwhile, the news of several explosions in oil tankers of the Emirate's Fujairah port featured as a top story on the breaking news. Undoubtedly, this had the potential to end the game. Imagine Iran, one of the major oil producers, unable to sell its products while all Gulf countries can do so. It was therefore normal for everybody to finger-point Iran.

Meanwhile, the United States by declaring their unwillingness to fight Iran called on the leaders of Tehran to negotiate. But naturally, Iranian leaders, due to their ideological nature, this time, unlike during the Obama era, could not accept American’s requests. Moreover, the Iranian leader, while denying the possibility of a war, named any type of negotiations with the Americans “Poison!”

Why? For three simple reasons:

(a) The Iranian supreme leader knows that President Trump has a unique personality and if Iran was to give a green light to negotiate, Trump would promptly inform everybody as Trump needs to portrait Iran as a surrendering player, which is completely contrary to Khamenei's declared policies in Iran and, in this case, the Iranians would accuse him of lying and surrendering under duress and this is the real poison, of course, for the supreme leaders of Iran!

(b) They formerly negotiated with E3+3 [the 5+1 group] including the United States over Iran's nuclear deal and they agreed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The agreement was even approved by the UN Security Council classified as S/RES/2231, nevertheless, the United States left it unilaterally, therefore, for Iranian leaders is difficult to trust the United States in the current situation.

(c) Negotiating on what? Specifically, the US administration intends to negotiate based on their foreign minister’s demands given to Iran, if talks begin. The importance of these conditions for Washington is that they know that they essentially change the ideological nature of Tehran’s regime and Tehran into a normal player in international politics. This is precisely the second reason why the regime in Tehran refuses to accept any requests to negotiate with Trump. Because Tehran’s regime wants to remain revolutionary. 

So, with regards to the above, even in the event of an unexpected event, giving rise to a beginning of negotiations, due to the predictable nature of conditions at stake, the weakening of the Iranian regime inside and outside Iran is an absolute certainty.

What kind of future is waiting for a regime that is very weak both inside and outside the country? Needless to say, it will probably collapse! 

This argument reinforces the belief at the beginning of the preemptive war in the non-public sector of the Iranian regime, which, despite condemning the war, believes that Iran is currently in a state of war. Also, as the US is sending troops into the region on a large scale, it follows that the Americans and their regional allies are waiting for appropriate military and political arrangements to start an open attack, as everyday access to resources and facilities becomes more limited for the regime, and simultaneously, Iran is also losing time and momentum for the right action. 

Such an argument makes sense, even by evaluating the low social capital of the regime internally. The economic pressure from sanctions and the oil sales disruption would trigger further dissatisfaction every day more. Therefore, according to the pre-emptive war proponents, today's social capital is better than tomorrow. Just like other resources! 

Another case that can help us in the consistency of this argument is the logic of power. When you are attacked by a superpower, you must know that a superpower, as suggested by its name, has the power to justify and legitimize its attack. This means that in any case you are the culprit and it was you who started the war.

Thus, it may be necessary, to start a pre-emptive and possibly limited war at the right time and in the right situation as soon as possible, given the growing trend of declining social capital and access to resources and facilities.

Pre-Emptive war and enduring retaliation by the United States, to avoid the war from slipping out of control, could be the key to solving the crisis.

Hence, after the attacks on two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, which it was said that Iran has done it, in the current situation, we are facing with shooting down an American RQ-4 Global Hawk which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) declares that it had stuck down it over Iranian airspace. This action could be used to confirm Iran's boldness to launch a pre-emptive war. Of course, the destabilization of the Persian Gulf and the creation of a crisis of energy and perhaps an increase in oil prices could be one of the desires of the Iranian regime.

So long in this situation, the Iranian regime can have a better excuse to negotiate, meaning negotiating in an equal and heroic situation, instead of not negotiating before the war at all, and to surrender.

Image Attribute: Iran displaying the parts of downed MQ-4C Triton / Source: IRGC/IRNA

About the Author:

Mehdi Dehnavi (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7755-9414) is a UK based Middle Eastern affairs analyst with a focus on Iranian Political Development, Kurdish Issue, Islamic Fundamentalism, Terrorism & Counterterrorism, US Politics, NPT, Disarmament and Arms Control. His articles have been published by several journals and news agencies including Sputnik International, The Diplomatist, Diplomacy & Beyond Plus and The Russian International Affairs Council.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this insight piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the IndraStra Global.