Is Iran preparing for a nuclear war?
In the course of unplanned and held suddenly for all the exercises, in which land, naval and rocket forces of Iran took part, a very specific scenario was played out. According to him, the armed forces of this Islamic republic not only, as usual, repelled the aggression of the coalition of hostile states from the sea, but also delivered preemptive strikes at the places of concentration of troops of their geopolitical opponents.
In particular, the alleged attacks of Iranian naval forces on the fleets of the US and its allies from the Arab states of the Persian (Arab) Gulf zone (including strikes on their naval groupings with anti-ship missiles), as well as ballistic missile strikes on Arab monarchies were simulated hostile to the Islamic Republic.
The unexpectedness and unusual time for Iran to conduct these exercises, a significant number of military personnel involved in them, as well as the unusual scenario, forced not only all the neighboring countries of the Middle East to worry, but also the leadership of many other countries of the world. Why, we explain a little later.
The main area of the exercise was the southern and south-western provinces of Iran, as well as the adjacent waters of the Persian and Oman gulfs, and, of course, the Strait of Hormuz. A sharp increase in Iran’s military activity followed the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the restoration of economic sanctions against this Islamic state, the “second package” of which was introduced by Washington against Tehran on August 6. As we remember, the restoration of US sanctions against both the Iranian economy as a whole and against its nuclear energy industry took place against the backdrop of sharp protests from Russia and China, as well as when many EU countries disagreed with this.
After that, amid a sharp deepening of the economic crisis in their country in recent weeks, Tehran’s authorities repeatedly stated that they would give a sharp response to Washington’s such unfriendly gesture, which, among other things, would include closing the Iranian Navy of the Strait of Hormuz.
As is known, this zone is one of the key geostrategic points of the globe, since through this strait are sea shipments of oil from most of the Gulf States (Kuwait, Iraq, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar). The representative of the armed forces of Iran in early July said that, “If the US decides to block the export of our oil, then we, for our part, will also not allow other countries to export hydrocarbons through the Strait of Ormuzd ...” And, perhaps, in the near future, this threat will be translated into reality.
Also the other day, the representative of the “Islamic Republic of Iran” in OPEC Hussein Ardebili said that the US sanctions (some of which were introduced on August 6, and some will be adopted from November November 4) “Thanks to which Washington is planning to bring Iran’s revenues from oil and gas exports to zero again, as a result, they will harm America itself, because ordinary Americans will pay for their president’s aggressive policies ... ” Moreover, according to the Iranian representative, “The introduction of new sanctions packages threatens peace in the whole of Front Asia, and in the event of increased pressure from the United States on Tehran, the Arab states of the Gulf will pay dearly for their support for Washington’s policies ...”
However, according to a number of experts, at present such Iranian statements pose a much lesser threat to the energy security of Europe and virtually no threat to the United States. This is explained by the fact that, firstly, a number of Arab countries in the Gulf region (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq) have land pipelines to ports that are out of reach from Iran. And, secondly, the fact that 80% of oil supplied through the Strait of Hormuz goes to Asia - to India, to China, to Singapore, to both Korea and Japan, i.e. to countries not directly involved in the US-Iran confrontation.
Accordingly, last week's holding by Iran of large-scale military exercises of various types of troops in the Strait of Hormuz, to put it mildly, in no way contributes to reducing mutual tensions in the region. Despite a number of statements made by individual EU countries and even Russia about the groundlessness and futility of Iran’s threats against their main geopolitical opponents, not only the Gulf countries, but also other states reacted by activating their military forces.
Thus, a representative of the US Navy grouping in the Strait of Hormuz said that thanks to satellite data, the Americans knew about the upcoming large-scale Iranian exercises and even had information about missile firing. However, despite the announcement on the American ships of the regime of increased combat readiness, there was no dangerous interaction (especially fire contact) between the Iranian forces and the US naval grouping.
Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US Central Command, said the American leadership was well aware of the increase in Iran’s military presence in the Persian and Oman gulfs. “We are closely following what is happening and will continue to work with our allies to ensure freedom of navigation in this segment of international trade routes, even in the event of a critical change in the situation,” he noted.
Representatives of the US headquarters have repeatedly stated recently that both the regular Iranian Navy and the naval units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (reporting personally and exclusively to Ayatollah Ali Hamanei) constantly “harass” American warships located in international waters in this region . However, the situation on the maritime expanses in the Strait of Hormuz has not yet reached the level of some serious confrontation (recall that the last time the military incident between the US and Iran occurred in January 2016, when the Iranians seized for a short time the crew of an American patrol boat, like accidentally entering Iranian territorial waters).
The scenario, which was played by the Iranian Navy last week, consisted in rehearsing attacks of dozens of small warships and boats, both on warships of the United States and their Arab allies, and on tankers carrying hydrocarbons from this region (from which, we recall, exported around 30% sold in the world of oil).
In addition to imitating naval attacks, Iran launched missiles of various classes: from anti-ship and tactical to ballistic strategic purposes. Despite the fact that all the rockets were launched by Iranian forces in areas far from the cruising places of the US Navy and its allies, it was these actions of Tehran that caused the greatest strain on its geopolitical antagonists. As a result of this, the American leadership decided to add to the destroyer fighter of guided missiles, which several days ago began to accompany ships in the Strait of Hormuz, to send another “destroyer of a similar class” to the mission “defender of freedom of navigation”.
In addition, on the warships of the United States Navy, cruising in the Strait of Hormuz, the regime of increased alertness has been operating for a week, and the additional forces of the American fleet After the latest high-profile statements and actions, Iran began to actively draw into the Gulf of Oman region.
In principle, the threat of a non-nuclear local conflict should not greatly excite the world community, since similar confrontational incidents have happened before. However, last Saturday, Iran officially announced that it turns out that it again has at its disposal highly enriched uranium and actively continues to develop nuclear weapons. Press secretary and vice president of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization, Behruz Kamalvandi, said that changing the geopolitical situation required the return of uranium.
As you know, this Islamic republic, for the sake of easing sanctions, completely stopped the production of highly enriched nuclear fuel a few years ago and gradually transferred to Russia all of its existing reserves. Moreover, according to the nuclear deal with the United States, Iran was inferior to the guarantor countries for most of its reserves of even low-enriched uranium (although retaining 300 kg from the total stock of almost 9 tons).
However, according to Kamalvandi, back in the beginning of this year, “at Tehran’s urgent request,” Moscow returned one part of uranium fuel, and after the United States left the Iran denuclearization agreement, Tehran managed to persuade Moscow to decide on the return of another part of highly enriched nuclear fuel.
In addition, in recent months, Iran has openly not only resumed, but even intensified the operation of its uranium enrichment enterprises, stating that “no deals with the West should call into question the security of the state, and the surest means of guaranteeing freedom and independence is no treaties, but nuclear weapons ... "
Also 11 August 2018, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif told the Tasnim news agency that he has no plans or desire to meet with any US officials either before or during the UN General Assembly, which is to be held soon in New York. .
“According to a recent proposal from the US President, our position was voiced. Americans are dishonest, and their attachment to sanctions does not allow for any negotiations. We will respond to the threat with a threat, to their action with our action ”, - declared M. Zarif.
Thus, we have to admit that both parties to the conflict, in fact, refused to negotiate and engaged in active naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz, which can be said to be an unhealthy mutual demonstration of force in one of the most important key geopolitical points of the planet.
And since both sides (one is absolutely accurate and the other is supposedly) have nuclear potential and are set to confrontation, they put the Middle East at risk of nuclear war and the largest environmental and economic disaster in the region since 1991. It remains to be hoped that the leadership of the United States and Iran will have enough common sense to instruct their armed forces not to cross the critical line to which these two countries have approached in just the last few days.
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