As May 12th deadline imposed by the United States President Donald Trumps nears, the warnings towards Iran, made by the White House and Israel, are getting increasingly more threating.
President Trump has given his European partners until May 12th to find a solution for the Iranian Deal that he called “insane” earlier this week, or he would pull out the United States from it. Since he has provided no plan on his intentions after the deal gets scrapped, there are growing concerns about the future American policies towards Tehran. If Trump starts insisting on a regime change, the situation can escalate into another open conflict in the Middle East.
Israel has been a long-time advocate for a tougher stance on Iran, especially in the light of Tehran’s activities in Syria, which both Washington and Tel Aviv are describing as “malign.” Possible clashes between Iran’s forces present in Syria and IDF can easily spill over and spiral out of control. Israel has been proposing a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, something they have done in the past, but this time the response would be much firmer. There are plenty of militants groups in Syria close to Israel’s border with enough motivation to carry out attacks, supported by the instructors, money, and weapons from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which has a strong presence in the country.
Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, has warned that Iran is the lynchpin which holds together various entities hostile to both Israel and US, like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Assad’s regime.
The change of tone in Washington coincided with the appointment of the new National Security Advisor John Bolton, a Bush-era politician who have advocated strikes against Iran and North Korea in the past. Mike Pompeo, the new Secretary of State, hold similar opinions, having said that “the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the Mullahs’ regime in Tehran.” Trump has now surrounded himself with advisors that are very hostile to the regime in Tehran and they may influence him towards more hawkish behavior which could easily escalate into open conflict. United States Secretary of Defense Mattis has expressed concerns that Israel may preemptively strike Iran’s forces in Syria, which are smuggling advanced weaponry into the country, able to hit targets deep in Israel.
“We have seen them trying to bring advanced weaponry into Syria on its way to Lebanese Hezbollah in southern Lebanon,” Mattis said. “Israel is not going to wait until those missiles are in the air. Will it be cataclysmic? I hope not, I hope Iran pulls back.”
Gholamali Khoshroo, Iran’s ambassador to the UN also addressed Security Council. “The Iran-phobic, and hysterical statements we have heard today and in recent months are being actively perpetuated by those who are badly in need of creating an imaginary enemy to sell their “beautiful weapons” and those who entrench their aggressions through using such weapons. It is a dirty business that has nothing to do with peace and security in the Middle East,” he said.