Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Can US afford an assault on Iran?

The US-Iran standoff continues to evolve quickly, yet commentaries covering tanker attacks, a downed drone, and reversed orders for airstrikes from the White House fail to explain the logic behind an intervention, if the Trump administration decides to intervene. Therefore, it is worth exploring what a war between the two would actually look like.
Ideally, the US should have learnt some lessons from Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Distant foreign conflicts are difficult to win, which most of the Americans are usually unwilling to think unless faced with a massive and immediate threat. Small-scale engagements accomplish little and are instead more likely to evolve into larger conflicts. Installing foreign governments are more difficult, costly, time-consuming and even deadly than leaders are likely to claim.
Backing a local proxy is often unpalatable for the country’s sense of ethics, but US adversaries often have no such misgivings. Those proxies are often an ineffective substitute for a US military presence when it comes to pursuing the US agenda. Without a substantial, long-term commitment of US forces, such wars are more likely to leave a power vacuum when the US withdraws. The outcomes are collapsed government, invasion by a neighbor, revolution that creates new and uncertain structures – or some combination of all these. In fact, the US has had a few true victories in the wars it has fought since World War II.
Exploring US government’s options in a war with Iran, the most probable option is limited strikes, similar in scale to or perhaps somewhat greater than the strikes on Syria that the Trump administration ordered on Syria in 2017 and 2018. But Iran is not Syria, as it has a sophisticated air defense infrastructure and plenty of air denial capability, increasing the chance of US casualties. Further, a limited air strike probably wouldn’t accomplish anything meaningful. It might take out a handful of radar and air defense installations, sending a political signal but affecting in no real way the strategic reality on the ground. The only time US air power alone has significantly shifted the reality on the ground was in Kosovo, but Iran today is far more powerful than Serbia in 1999.
On the contrary, limited strikes may have opposite outcome. Iran’s economy is hurting and its society appears more divided as citizens continue to grow frustrated with the government. The US has imposed sanctions as a strategy to hobble the economy enough to create social pressure on Tehran, forcing the government to spend less on its defenses and funding of militias in Syria and Iraq, so far, they’ve been effective. If the US continues this tactic, over time Iran’s domestic situation would worsen, and its citizens would be more likely to blame its leadership for their problems. And that would likely intensify the divisions within the government that are already emerging, resulting in either a more Western-friendly government or one dominated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Even limited US airstrikes would increase the probability of the IRGC consolidating power. If the sanctions can help create division, an attack would unite Iran’s hard-liners and reformers against the US. That unity would likely occur under the aegis of the hard-liners who have been warning all along that this day would come if Iran were foolish enough to trust the US. As the most powerful entity in the county, the IRGC would probably take over, and do so with popular support.
Use of Ground Force
Ground force is a less likely choice for the US, even with limited objectives (like eliminating specific military equipment or securing passage through the Strait of Hormuz). But it would be more likely to achieve what the US really wants, Iran to recall its foreign militias to defend the home. But when a military force is rapidly removed without a replacement ready to take its place, it creates a power vacuum and, therefore, an opportunity for others to fill the void. The pace at which Iran withdraws its militias from Syria and Iraq can alter the regional balance of power.
If any militant group occupies the space vacated by Iran, US would have to again deal with this problem, which would require reoccupying parts of Iraq while fighting Iran. This would likely entail support from Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish forces, which would again put pressure on US-Turkey relations. But the Syrian Kurds may not see a long-term alliance with the US as in its best interest after the US threatened to leave them high and dry in December 2018. They could instead seek out a political resolution with Damascus, backed by Russia that would protect them from Turkey. It is also likely that Russia may step in to back Kurdish groups such as the Syrian Democratic Forces to fight back. But that would mean the US would be depending on Russian assistance to cover its western flank, and in exchange for such cooperation Russia would likely demand US concessions in places like Ukraine. In short, going all-in with Iran would require either a large-scale US occupation or dependence on Russia in Syria and Iraq. Neither of those are appealing options for Washington.
Regime Change
If it is regime change that the US may attempt in Iran, the risks are even greater. The fallout would look much like that of the second Iraq war, but on a far greater scale. Installing a pro-American regime isn’t easy, but it can easily fail. The US would have to commit to an indefinite occupation of Iran or again risk the emergence of a power vacuum. The US would have to deal with the rest of the Middle East. In the best-case scenario, the US would install a new head of government while facing a lengthy insurgency, which would likely include the vestiges of the IRGC and its heavy weaponry. After a long, costly occupation, the US would have to withdraw, leaving Iran’s leaders to face opposition on their own. The half-life of US-installed leaders in the Middle East would not be long. Limited airstrikes or a full-scale invasion (military confrontation with Iran) would create more problems for the US rather than offering any sustainable solution.

Cyber attacks against Iran a failed US strategy

Lately, the United States launched cyber attacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network after Tehran downed an American surveillance drone. It is believed US president Donald Trump authorized the US Cyber Command to carry out a retaliatory attack on Iran, shortly after the US president pledged to hit the Islamic republic with major new sanctions. The US claimed crippling of computers used to control rocket and missile launches. However, it was not clear whether the attacks were effective or not. It was suggested the US media reports were a bluff meant to affect public opinion and regain the lost reputation for the White House following the downing of its drone. The US had undertaken similar attacks in the past.
It was first in July 2010 when the United States launched a serious cyber-attack against Iran. At the time, it was said that a virus named Stuxnet was used for damaging the computer systems that controlled Iranian nuclear industry. 
On 16th January 2011, New York Times and many other media published news about how Stuxnet malicious computer worm was jointly built by US, the Zionist regime, United Kingdom and Germany. It revealed that President George W. Bush had initially granted permission for production of Stuxnet and then they started building the virus in cooperation with the Zionist regime. 
According to the official documents, Stuxnet was built jointly by US, Germany, UK and the Zionist regime, but Germany and UK may not have been aware what function the virus will have in future. George W. Bush issued the permission for building Stuxnet and Barack Obama gave permission for using it in 2009. 
According to western and Zionist news agencies, in 2009, Stuxnet mostly infiltrated the computers via software such as USB flash drives and internet and then the virus was transferred to every other computer that became connected to an infected computer. 
At the time, the emergence of this computer worm was all over the news. On 2nd October 2010, India Times and Daily Telegraph published some news and revealed that the Zionist regime was involved in building this virus.
What is interesting in both their reports, is that they mentioned that Stuxnet used a file named “Myrtus” to infiltrate the computers. 
Myrtus is a word with Hebrew roots that refer to the story of Esther,  the second wife of Persian king Ahasuerus (commonly identified as Xerxes) in ancient Persia. She was a Jewish woman who was under the guardianship of her cousin, Mordecai who was an advisor to king Ahasuerus and convicned the king to marry her. According to these reports, Esther was somehow considered as the queen of world Jews and the Zionist regime was inspired by this historical character to name the malware to infiltrate Iran’s systems. 
After George W. Bush and Barak Obama, the plans for launching cyber-attacks against Iran were still at work in White House. Recently, western media, specially the American ones, announced that Donald Trump has issued the permit for attacking Iranian computer systems. 
It is claimed that the permission for beginning cyber-attacks was given on Thursday right after Trump, allegedly, called off his attack against Iran in retaliation for downing US invading drone just 10 minutes before it was to be launched. Two informed sources have told Associated Press that the cyber-attacks are been approved by Trump. 
It appears that President Trump has chosen a strategy against Iran that was also tried by Bush and Obama.  According to the reports published in New York Times, contrary to the intentions of US and the Zionist regime, Stuxnet was never able to carry out its mission completely, that was the destruction of Iran’s nuclear program, it only slowed down the process of Iran’s nuclear developments. 
It seems that Trump is running a test on Iran; and, now, instead of direct military war, he has chosen to launch cyber-attacks and offered negotiations without any precondition. Currently, Trump has three big projects at hand: the Deal of the Century, Iran and North Korea. 
In dealing with North Korea, Trump also first started with direct threats, to the point that many predicted an imminent war would start, but he suddenly offered to negotiate with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un; though these negations have not yet come to any conclusion. 
White House has also devised the Deal of the Century project for the Middle East, but the Palestinians have not agreed to abide by it. Finally, Trump has also been unsuccessful in dealing with Iran. 
By abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran and imposing sanctions on Iran, Trump burned all the bridges between the two countries and now he is wondering if he can push Tehran into submission by trying out other strategies such as cyber-attacks and economic pressure.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Israel, United States and Russia meeting at Jerusalem to combat Iran

“Tehran should not view the US decision to hold back from launching a retaliatory military strike against Iran as a sign of weakness”, said US National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem lately. 
Bolton spoke after a historic trilateral meeting with his Russian and Israeli counterparts, Nikolai Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat, about regional security. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed the Israeli delegations at the talks.
Bolton repeated twice to reporters that Iran "should not mistake restraint as a sign of weakness." Iran must halt its pursuit of nuclear weapons and “all options are on the table” until it does, Bolton told reporters.
“They should give up their pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons. They should make that strategic step, they have not done it yet,” Bolton said.
Prior to the meeting, Bolton said, “US President Donald Trump has held the door open for real negotiations, to completely and verifiably eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program, it's pursuit of ballistic missile delivery systems, its support of international terrorism and its other maligning behavior worldwide.”
Bolton noted that other top US officials - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US envoy on Iran Brian Hook - were also in the region to discuss Iran with Arab leaders.
“As we speak, US diplomats are surging across the Middle East seeking a path to peace,” Bolton said. “In response Iran’s silence is deafening,” he added.
"Iran’s provocations, which also include threats to and acts upon American personnel and assets in the Middle East, are the external manifestations of the essential threat Iran poses, namely its continued pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons,” Bolton said.
“There is simply no evidence that Iran has made the strategic decision to renounce nuclear weapons and open realistic discussion to demonstrate that decision,” he added.
“In just a few days - perhaps by the weekend - Iran has threatened to exceed the key limits possessed by the inadequate 2015 nuclear deal, exposing once again the fatal deficiencies of that failed agreement,” Bolton said.
“All around the Middle East, we see Iran as the source of belligerence and aggression,” he said, giving as examples its support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, its assistance to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the arming of militia groups in Iraq, the weaponizing of the Houthis in Yemen, its support of terrorist activities against US forces in Afghanistan and its threat to oil supplies.
Bolton said that the trilateral meeting was taking place at a “particularly critical moment.” The US envoy also spoke glowingly of Netanyahu’s leadership and the role he plays in maintaining Israeli security.
The trilateral meeting, Bolton said to Netanyahu, “is a tribute to your leadership and a recognition of the central role that Israel does and must play in securing international peace and security.”
He added that, “through your strong relationships with both [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and President Trump, there is a substantially greater prospect for coordination of our perspective policies in order to achieve a secure and lasting peace in the region.”
The trilateral talks will include discussions in particular on Iran’s military presence in Syria. Israel and Russia are at odds over that presence, with Israel pushing for Iran to be ousted from Syria. Moscow holds that Israeli security is important but believes that the Assad regime has a right to open its doors to Iran.
Patrushev pledged his support to the joint battle against terrorism, which his country is waging alongside Israel and the US, particularly against ISIS.
“It is extremely important to guarantee Israel’s security,” he said, recalling that there are two million Russians living in Israel.
But he said that it is also important to respect other regional powers, hinting at Iran and noting that, “if we ignore them, we won’t achieve results.”
Russia is opposed to Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and Patrushev hinted at that opposition in his remarks. “There should be a peaceful, prosperous and sovereign Syria,” he said.
Netanyahu said the trilateral meeting showed that there was “a wider basis for cooperation between the three of us than many believe. This summit represents a real opportunity to help advance that stability in our region, particularly in Syria.”
“Israel has acted hundreds of times to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria,” Netanyahu said, adding that, “Israel will continue to prevent Iran from using neighboring territory as platforms to attack us and Israel will respond forcibly to any such attacks,” he said.
Netanyahu thanked Russia for working out a deconfliction mechanism with Israel, which allows it to operate in Syria without the risk of harming Russian forces in Syria.
“All three of us [Israel, Russia and the US] would like to see a peaceful, stable and secure Syria,” Netanyahu said.
“We also have a common objective to achieve that goal... that no foreign forces that arrived in Syria after 2011 remain in Syria,” Netanyahu said. He counts Iran as one of those foreign forces. Russia believes that Iran is not included in that list, because it is there at the request of the Assad regime.
“We think there are ways to achieve that common goal. I believe the outcome that I have just described - the departure of all foreign forces from Syria, who entered after 2011 - will be good for Russia, good for the US, good for Israel and good for Syria,” Netanyahu said.
Ben-Shabbat stood behind Netanyahu, saying that regional stability could not be obtained without stopping Iran.

Trump acts touching insanity

People may say, “you are nobody to comment on the acts of Donald Trump, President of United States, the sole surviving super power”. However, I am forced to say that most of his acts seem to be touching ‘insanity’, be it imposition of tariffs on goods of Chinese origin or the latest, sanctions on Iranian supreme leader and other top officials.
The mainstream media has written a lot on ongoing Sino-US trade war, purely from economic perspective. However, when it comes to Iran-US animosity, western media becomes ‘dishonest’ and tows US lines blindly.
According to a Reuters report, “US President Donald Trump has targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials with sanctions, taking a dramatic and unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an unmanned American drone. This, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would lock billions of dollars more in Iranian assets.
John Smith, who was director of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before joining a law firm last year, said the United States had never targeted an Iranian head of state before and that was a sign Trump was getting personal. “Generally, when you target a head of state you’re not turning back. That is when you believe all options are at an end,” Smith said.
On Monday, UN Security Council met behind closed doors at the request of the United States and its acting ambassador Jonathan Cohen said evidence showed Iran was to blame for attacks on commercial tankers in the Gulf in May and June and urged the world to tell Tehran its actions were unacceptable.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also travelled on Monday to meet with Saudi leaders to build what he called a “global coalition” against the Islamic republic. Pompeo met Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.
Although, Trump backed away from a bombing strike in retaliation for last week’s drone downing, US media reports said a US cyber attack took place against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network. However, Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said no cyber attack against his country had ever succeeded.
Trump has repeatedly said he does not favour war with Iran unless it is to stop the country getting a nuclear weapon — something Iranian leaders insist they are not pursuing.
But Trump critics say his policy of "maximum pressure" — including crippling economic sanctions, abandonment of an international deal to regulate Iran's nuclear activities, and deployment of extra troops to the region — make war ever more likely.
A key Republican ally of Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham, said the president's "options are running out".
Asked if he believed the countries were nearing conflict, he replied: "I think anybody would believe that we're one step closer."
One of Trump's biggest opponents, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, warned that "there's no appetite for wanting to go to war in our country".
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has close relations with Iran's leadership, said US military retaliation "would be a disaster for the region".
In a televised address, President Hassan Rouhani said sanctions against Khamenei would have no practical impact because the cleric had no assets abroad.
Rouhani, a pragmatist who won two elections on promises to open Iran up to the world, described the U.S. moves as desperate and called the White House “mentally retarded” - an insult Iranian officials have used in the past about Trump but a departure from Rouhani’s own comparatively measured tone.
Rouhani and his cabinet run Iran’s day-to-day affairs, while Khamenei, in power since 1989, is Iran’s ultimate authority.

“The White House actions mean it is mentally retarded,” Rouhani said. “Tehran’s strategic patience does not mean we have fear.”

Sunday, 23 June 2019

As world faces Armageddon, west seems leaderless

According to some news reports, the moronic warmongers in high office—Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence, and their Israel Lobby masters are determined, and they have not abandoned their campaign for war with Iran.  They believe Iran will just accept punishment for defending its territory and there will be no war, but this is not what Iran says.
A tiny percentage of people in the Western World, still believe that the consequences would have been the destruction of the Saudi and Israeli government and the cut-off of oil to the US and Europe, with the resulting depression causing the overthrow of the western warmonger governments.  They believe that catastrophic American defeat is the only way peace can be restored to the world.  
It is not clear whether Trump calling off the attack saved us or doomed us.  The Israel Lobby and their neoconservative agents have not been taught a lesson.  Trump has not fired Bolton and Pompeo for almost igniting a conflagration, and he has not dressed down his moronic vice president, it can all happen again.  
The lesson that Bolton and Israel have learned is that the fake news about an Iranian attack on a Japanese freighter, denied by the Japanese, was not sufficient to lock Trump into “saving face” by attacking Iran.  Be prepared for a larger orchestrated provocation. Bolton and Israel know that  ‘Dishonest Western Media, will lie for them.
Washington’s use of fake news and false flag attacks to launch military attacks goes back a long way.  In the 21st century we have had a concentrated dose—Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasions, Maduro starving his own people, the endless lies about Gaddafi, and the list can continue
Washington has grown accustomed to attacking countries on false pretenses and getting away with it.  Therefore, there is nothing to discourage the Israel Lobby and its Washington puppets from continuing to set-up Iran for an attack.  Success breeds incaution.  The attack on Iraq was managed by a credible US Secretary of State before the UN.  The attack on Libya was paved by a UN resolution that Russia and China failed to block. This time, Washington has failed in seeking a green light for the attack on Iran. Moreover, Iran is a more powerful military force than Iraq and Libya, and the extent of the depth of Russian and Chinese support for Iran is fully known to Washington.
If Israel succeeds in having its Washington puppet attack Iran, Israel and its neoconservative agents will not welcome failure of their objective.  They will fight against failure with more dangerous moves.  One can easily imagine the fanatics having Trump “save face” by destroying the world and issuing some kind of ultimatums to Russia and China or resorting to the use of nuclear weapons against Iran.  
The people are kept unaware of the plan control the explanations given to the people. The US Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby, as are most important politicians in the UK and Europe. It is very easy for fanatics to produce Armageddon.
Those surviving the 20th century Cold War have reported on numerous occasions that the threat of nuclear war today is far higher than during the Cold War Era. During the Cold War US and Soviet leaders worked to defuse tensions and to build trust.  In contrast, since the Clinton regime the US has worked consistently to build tensions. One can compile a list of occasions when the tension-building activities were pursued by the then governments
The Russians no longer trust Washington, and neither do the Chinese.  Washington has lied to, and about, Russia so often in the 21st century that Russian trust of Washington is exhausted.  No matter how earnestly the Russian government wants to trust Washington, it dare not do so.
Therefore, it takes very little miscalculation for the morons in Washington to cause a threat-ending response from Russia as Washington has convinced the Russian government that the US intends to destroy them.  
President Trump has been forced to adopt the neoconservative attitude toward Russia and other “non-compliant” governments. It is extremely dangerous after trust has been destroyed by years of lies and false accusations. People must accept the fact, “As the world faces Armageddon the Western World is leaderless”.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Threats to maritime trade beginning to come true

A few weeks ago I wrote an article ‘Brewing turmoil in Pakistan’s backyard’ and the concluding remarks were, “The fact remains that none of the country (United States or Iran) wants to get the blame for initiating a conflict, but it doesn’t mean that the threat of eminent war is not there. There is a fear that miscalculation or misunderstanding can trigger confrontation and an outbreak of war. As the US expands its military presence in the region, the risk of beginning an accidental war rises further.”
The apprehension came true last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman. Washington was prompt in accusing Tehran of being behind a similar incident on May 12 when four tankers were attacked in the same area, a vital oil shipping route. Russia was quick to urge caution, saying no one should rush to conclusions about Thursday’s incident or use it to put pressure on Tehran, which has denied the US accusations. There were no immediate statements apportioning blame after Thursday’s incidents, nor any claims of responsibility.
The blasts detonated far from the bustling megacities of Asia, but the attacks on two tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz hits at the heart of the region's oil import-dependent economies. While the violence only directly jolted two countries in the region one of the targeted ships was operated by a Tokyo-based company, a nearby South Korean-operated vessel helped rescue sailors it will unnerve major economies throughout Asia.
Subsequently, officials, analysts and media commentators highlighted the importance of the Strait of Hormuz for Asia, calling it a crucial lifeline. There was deep interest in more details about the still-sketchy attack and what the United States and Iran would do in the aftermath. Whether Asia shrugs it off, as some analysts predict, or its economies shudder as a result, the attack highlights the widespread worries over an extreme reliance on a single strip of water for the oil that fuels much of the region's shared progress.
Japan, South Korea and China don't have enough oil, but the Middle East does, and much of it flows through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. This makes Asia vulnerable to supply disruptions from US-Iran tensions or violence in the strait. The attack came months after Iran threatened to shut down the strait to retaliate against US economic sanctions, which tightened in April when the Trump administration decided to end sanctions exemptions for the five biggest importers of Iranian oil, which included China and US allies South Korea and Japan.
Japan is the world's fourth-largest consumer of oil after the United States, China and India and relies on the Middle East for 80 per cent of its crude oil supply. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster led to a dramatic reduction in Japanese nuclear power generation and increased imports of natural gas, crude oil, fuel oil and coal. In an effort to comply with Washington, Japan says it no longer imports oil from Iran. Officials also say Japanese oil companies are abiding by the embargo because they don't want to be sanctioned. But Japan still gets oil from other Middle East nations using the Strait of Hormuz for transport.
South Korea, the world's fifth largest importer of crude oil, also depends on the Middle East for the vast majority of its supplies. Last month, South Korea halted its Iranian oil imports as its waivers from US sanctions on Teheran expired, and it has reportedly tried to increase oil imports from other countries such as Qatar and the United States.
China, the world's largest importer of Iranian oil, understands its growth model is vulnerable to a lack of energy sovereignty and has been working over the last several years to diversify its suppliers. That includes looking to Southeast Asia and, increasingly, some oil-producing nations in Africa.
Asia and the Middle East are linked by a flow of oil, much of it coming by sea and dependent on the Strait of Hormuz, which is the passage between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Iran threatened to close the strait in April. For both Japan and South Korea, there is extreme political unease to go along with the economic worries stirred by the violence in the strait. Both nations want to nurture their relationship with Washington, a major trading partner and military protector. But they also need to keep their economies humming, which requires an easing of tension between Washington and Tehran.
Japan's conservative Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was in Tehran, looking to do just that, when the attack happened. His limitations in settling the simmering animosity were highlighted by both the timing of the attack and a comment by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who told Abe that he had nothing to say to Trump.
In Japan, the world's third largest economy, the tanker attack was front-page news. The Nikkei newspaper, Japan's major business daily, said that if mines are planted in the Strait of Hormuz, “oil trade will be paralyzed.” The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper called the Strait of Hormuz Japan's “lifeline.”
Analysts believe it's highly unlikely that Iran would follow through on its threat to close the strait. That's because a closure could also disrupt Iran's exports to China, which has been working with Russia to build pipelines and other infrastructure that would transport oil and gas into China.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Is turmoil in Persian Gulf aimed at containing Beijing’s access to energy resources of the region?

Though, I often reject conspiracy theories, but at time I also tend to pay attention to these, which provide me an opportunity to get a better perspective. One such theory demands little probe, is United States creating turmoil in Persian Gulf region to contain China’s access to energy resources of the region?
Since commencement of economic growth in 1993, China has become heavily dependent on imported oil from other countries. At present, it is the second largest energy consuming and the third largest oil importing country in the world. Despite Beijing’s efforts to ensure its energy security by diversifying its energy sources during the past years, the country is still heavily dependent on energy import from the Arabian Peninsula.
China has left its rivals far behind and became the second biggest economy of the world after the US. It seems that due Beijing is likely to leave behind the US in near future and become the world’s biggest economy. The White House has kept an eye on China’s development, its plans and initiatives and never been negligent in monitoring its ambitions and achievements.
Ever since Donald Trump, became President, conflicts between China and the sole surviving super power have widened from economic and trade to political and security conflicts. Now, the increase in Chinese power and global influence has become a major challenge for the White House. As a first step, Trump initiated trade and economic war against Beijing and in the next stage Trump wants to restrict China’s influence globally, particularly among the US allies.
To contain China, the US has resorted to many strategies and tactics such as destabilizing west borders of China with Afghanistan and Pakistan and trying to spread to central Asia aiming at thwarting Chinese ‘One road-One belt’ initiative that many experts believe will enable China to determine the word trade orders in the future.   
China imports crude oil from the following countries:
  • Russia: US$37.9 billion (15.8%)
  • Saudi Arabia: $29.7 billion (12.4%)
  • Angola: $24.9 billion (10.4%)
  • Iraq: $22.4 billion (9.4%)
  • Oman: $17.3 billion (7.2%)
  • Brazil: $16.2 billion (6.8%)
  • Iran: $15 billion (6.3%)
  • Kuwait: $11.9 billion (5%)
  • Venezuela: $7 billion (2.9%)
  • United States: $6.8 billion (2.8%)
  • United Arab Emirates: $6.7 billion (2.8%)
  • Congo: $6.4 billion (2.7%)
  • Colombia: $5 billion (2.1%)
  • Malaysia: $4.8 billion (2%)
  • Libya: $4.7 billion (2%)

Crude oil is the driving engine of Chinese economy and any threats to energy security will inflict a heavy blow to the country’s economic growth. The statistics show that some 43% of the crude oil imported by China passes through the Persian Gulf. Another 4.6% goes from Libya and Venezuela, the US destructive polices have already created a chaotic situation in these two countries.
Many experts believe that the US withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal not only aims at pressurizing Iran, but also to pressurize China to compromise in the trade war that Washington has waged against it. Any conflict or tension in the Persian Gulf region means a great blow to China’s economy. Therefore, many suspicious incidents and tensions created by Washington and its proxies in Persian Gulf can be termed as the White House measures to contain China in order to guarantee the US hegemony.
With its provocative actions and sanctions, Washington not only aims to buttress its support for Israel and its Arab allies by punishing Iran, but also intends to deny Chinese access to Iranian oil.  The fear of and rivalry with China is today one of the primary drivers of American foreign policy.  Interruption of the oil flow in the Gulf is one way to directly hurt Chinese interests.  The Trump administration is, therefore, playing with fire in Iran and a potential conflagration with China.
The rising tensions between the US and Iran are mainly caused by Tehran’s policy and Washington’s intolerance. Iran's resistance to the US pressure is in fact shaping an equation in which the Islamic Republic indirectly contributes to the interests of China and even Europe. In a long-term strategic perspective, the dangers of insecurity in the Persian Gulf region, and the proximity of Europe and China to the region, heighten the need for greater coordination between Iran, China and Europe in countering the US hegemony.
There also seems a close relation between US created tensions in the Persian Gulf and containment of China, as Washington wants to exclude China from the region. Therefore, containing Iran is of crucial importance as China buys its oil. Therefore, China is likely to revisit its policy of balancing Iran and the US. Beijing may respect the latest sanctions on Iran, but resist any possibility of the US military attack on Iran. In my opinion the issue is not about Iran, but about China. I am convinced that the efforts are aimed at exploiting serendipitous opportunity.