Tension in the Persian Gulf: warmongering or threat?
On Thursday, explosions that the United States attributes to Iran disabled two oil tankers traveling in the Gulf of Oman. Accusations between the two countries have heightened tension in the region, sounding alarms of a possible military conflict.
Every fight starts with a first blow. That is the history of human conflicts since time immemorial.
And although the United States is used to seeing its wars fought oceans away, its participation in them carries more than its share of the blame.
Parallel 38 in Korea, the Truman doctrine, Bay of Pigs, Operation Desert Storm ... the U.S. has always taken part of intimidation games based on exacerbated threats (communism, nuclear attacks, terrorism).
It always begins with a provocation mise en scène under the table, and with an economic interest that is not discussed in the United Nations.
And since history is doomed to repeat itself, today the Persian Gulf is once again the epicenter of international tension.
Last Thursday, two explosions paralyzed two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a "vital passage for a third of the world's oil," according to the New York Times.
Images showed a boat on fire, with more than half of the structure destroyed and at risk of sinking, after the alleged detonation of two mines.
Hours later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the media that U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Tehran would be responsible for the attack, thanks to a video showing a small Iranian vessel removing debris from the mines on one side of the ship.
"Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security," Pompeo added.
Since the establishment of its migratory ban, the Trump Administration has been hostile to any relationship with Iran, and extremely interested in establishing economic and diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Trump's constant criticism against the Nuclear Agreement with Iran eventually ended on U.S. withdrawal from it, while multi-million dollar arms sales agreements were signed with Saudi Arabia.
The imposition of new economic sanctions and the suspension of the dialogue between Iran and the United States finally gave carte blanche to any aggression.
A hidden maneuver
War, like everything, is also a way of doing politics.
According to the Washington Post, a wealthy Iraqi sheik named Nahro al-Kasnazan has spent the last year lobbying for U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the regime in Iran.
Kasnazan wrote letters to national security adviser John Bolton and Mike Pompeo himself "urging them to forge closer ties with those seeking to overthrow the government of Iran," the Post explains.
During November, the Sheikh registered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington "and spent 26 nights in a suite on the eighth floor," an unusually long stay that "cost tens of thousands of dollars."
Kasnazan is known as the leader of an order of Sufi Muslims, and who worked as a CIA informant in the preamble to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It's not surprising then that sudden and specific attacks begin to emerge in the region when all that is needed is a small push for diplomacy to be misrepresented and a new war to fill the pockets of a couple of governments.