Iran's Retaliation was Measured to Allow Trump to De-escalate the Conflict, But Will He?
Early today, Iran launched more than a dozen guided missiles at two US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of military commander, Qasem Soleimani. However, there are indications that Iran wants to de-escalate the conflict with the United States. First, they warned Iraq in advance of the attack which would have allowed time to get Iraqi and US forces to safety, and they also seem to have targeted areas of the bases that were unoccupied. Moreover, their statements after the attack were measured rather than bellicose.
New York Times: "Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, also seemed ready to stand down, for now. “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense,” Mr. Zarif tweeted. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
President Trump, unwisely, put Iran in a position in which they would have to retaliate for Soleimani's assassination. It appears, however, that they selected a path that would allow Trump to de-escalate by saying that since there was limited damage to the bases, no response is necessary. However, some hawks in the administration may see this as an opportunity to call for an attack on Iran's military capabilities or oil-fields. That would be a grave mistake in that it would guarantee a further response from Tehran.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content