As the days of Donald Trump’s presidency and those of the racist neo-con US administration draw to a close, the world’s mass media have in recent days reported on the alarming news of a dangerous escalation in the possibility of a military conflict between the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran. These reports coincide with the first anniversary of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by US forces in Iraq on 3 January 2020, which sparked worldwide condemnation.
According to the same news, [Esmail] Qa’ani, the successor of Qassem Soleimani as the commander of the Quds Forces of the IRGC, said in a closed session of Majlis [the Iranian parliament]: “Those American officials that were involved in the assassination of Soleimani should learn from Salman Rushdie’s life [spent] in hiding, as the Islamic Republic will avenge the unjustly shed blood of Martyr Soleimani.”
In a formal response to these threats, Cale Brown, one of the State Department’s spokespersons, stated that these words amount to a terrorist threat against the President and the Secretaries of Defence and State of the United States.
In recent days, there were also reports of certain contradicting positions adopted by the Trump administration. On the one hand, the US Defence Department announced that the ten-month mission of its USS Nimitz supercarrier warship had ended on the orders of Acting Secretary of Defence Chris Miller, thus withdrawing the Nimitz aircraft carrier and its accompanying fleet from the Middle East [this decision has been apparently reversed again by Pentagon on Monday 4th January]. However, on the other hand, the USS Georgia nuclear submarine was dispatched to the Persian Gulf and is currently docked in Bahrain. Furthermore, two US B-52 bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, flew from the US to the Persian Gulf last Wednesday. Explaining the Trump administration’s recent moves, US officials told the media that they had obtained information about Iran’s preparation to attack US troops as well as the interests of its allies in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations has sent an official letter to the Secretary-General and the Security Council calling the flight of US bombers into the Persian Gulf a provocative “adventure” and protesting the move. The letter accused the US of “seeking conflict” stating: “These belligerent actions, if left unchecked, could escalate tensions to an alarming level and it is clear that the US will bear full responsibility for all of the consequences.” Iran’s Foreign Minister also twitted: “… Iran is not looking for a conflict but will respond to any likely military attack.”
In addition to Iran’s sending a letter of protest to the UN Security Council, Hossein Dehghan, an IRGC commander, and one of Khamenei’s [key] military advisers, warned Donald Trump on Twitter not to turn the New Year into a grieving and mourning period for US forces in the region. He tweeted: “All their military bases in the area are in the range of our missiles […] I urge the one being expelled from the White House not to turn the New Year into a time of mourning for the Americans.”
Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, also addressed the US government in a provocative speech that was broadcast on Iranian radio and television on Wednesday 30 December: “Trump was like Saddam. Saddam imposed eight years of war on us and was overthrown. Trump imposed three years of economic war on us. He will be overthrown in the coming weeks […] Not just from the government, but from life in general.”
In a detailed report published today (2 January 2021), CNN warned of the escalation of dangerous military tensions in the Persian Gulf region, stating: “A US official with direct information told CNN that some Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf have increased their preparedness level in the past 48 hours. Earlier this week, defence officials told CNN that new information showed that Iran had moved its short-range ballistic missiles into Iraq…”
According to the same report, Israeli media and Arab newspapers quoted unnamed US sources as stating that Israel and Saudi Arabia were encouraging Trump to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. In another part of its report, CNN added that there exist anxieties as some analysts in Washington speculate that Trump’s goal in the conflict with Iran could be another ploy to divert public opinion from his futile and baseless efforts to reverse his election defeat and tie up the hands of the future administration in any negotiations with Iran. “I am really worried that the president, by undertaking some kind of military operation before he exits the White House, could create problems for the next administration.” said Tom Nichols, an international affairs expert who lectures at the American Naval War College.
The Tudeh Party of Iran still believes that Donald Trump, in the final weeks of his disastrous presidency, which has taken a toll on the peace and stability of the Middle East and wider world, could take steps that have catastrophic consequences for the people of the region and for peace in the Middle East.
The racist and right-wing Trump administration has done its utmost over the past four years to undermine and destroy all international efforts, made within the framework of the UN Charter and international law, to resolve the disputes between Iran and the US. The Tudeh Party of Iran has repeatedly warned of the dangers of the adventurous policies of US imperialism and its allies, including the reactionary government of Saudi Arabia and the racist policies of Israel, as well as the senseless and interfering policies of the Iranian regime in the region. The news over recent days, and on the eve of the anniversary of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by the United States, is very alarming. Every effort must be made so that the reactionaries and those reckless leaders in both the White House and the theocratic regime in our troubled homeland do not spark a catastrophic fire, the consequences of which will exacerbate the suffering of the Iranian people and blow up the region. By mobilising world public opinion and intensifying pressure to calm and normalise the currently inflamed situation, the dangerous military adventures in the Persian Gulf region must be averted and stopped.
Tudeh Party of Iran
2 January 2021