The U.S. is moving tanks to the Gulf and the secretary of state has canceled a visit to Germany, blaming the cancellation on an imminent Iranian threat, and using the pretext that his duty is to make sure that American diplomatic staff in the Middle East are safe and sound. The Iranian foreign minister is tackling his country’s military capabilities and says that Iran will not allow oil to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if it is not Iranian oil. Reports are showing that Iran is reaching out to its ideological and military allies in the region. All of this indicates that there will probably be a military confrontation of some kind between America and its allies and Iran and its allies.
Recent U.S. sanctions on Iran were the culprit behind this escalation, as it reached a level that threatens the existence and continuity of the regime, targeting Tehran and its leader, and not its armed forces that are spread across the region as in the past. The sanctions have deprived Iran of vital economic and financial resources necessary for it to maintain regional power and dominance, and to preserve civil peace for people who are being marginalized.
Any military confrontation will have calculated consequences that will benefit America, although it will definitely be costly to both sides, and will thus prompt both sides to accept the intervention of a neutral third neutral party to end the conflict. This is a mission that won’t be easy because it is clear that the U.S. and its allies won’t accept the Iranian attitude, even if it means direct confrontation and toppling the regime through sanctions or any other tool.
Iran will be leaning toward one option that calls for agreeing to the rules of a settlement which clearly responds to all the fears which have escalated the confrontation to this point. In the past, Iran has always given in when escalation intensified.
Iran’s political statements and its regional behavior have doubled the number of countries that perceive it as a direct threat to their security and stability within a region that provides the world with 60% of its oil. Years of this conduct have led directly to a lack of trust in Iran and its promises, increasing the chances that the country will not be able to reduce the extent of the current crisis.
To overcome the crisis and circumvent confrontation, Iran should consider revising its regional conduct and its foreign and security policies in a measurable way. Iran should distinguish between its public statements and its actual behavior, which has been the main reason behind the havoc that has wrecked the stability and security of certain countries in the region. It should also foster ideological change in order to end the idea of exporting the revolution and to respect its neighbors’ security, stability and domestic situations. Iran should not expect that those countries will stand idle as they watch repeated attempts by Iran to destroy them and destabilize their societies.