London, 6 Apr – In the past two months, there have been several incidents of Iran harassing navy ships in the Persian Gulf, but according to a leading political scientist, they’re probably acting aggressively to make themselves seem like a strong county.
Dr Majid Rafizadeh, president of the International American Council, wrote on The National that Iran is attempting to show the Trump administration that they should not be messed with.
While on the surface, this seems counterintuitive because even a fraction of the USA’s military power dwarfs Iran’s, we must consider that for the past four decades this tactic has worked for Iran. If they harass US ships or takes Americans hostage, then Washington will back down and cave to Iranian demands.
The Iranian Regime, not one to take responsibility for their actions, also resort to blaming the other side.
Brig Gen Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, said: “We emphasise that the Americans would be responsible for any unrest in the Gulf and again warn that the US military must change its behaviour.”
It is unlikely that the Regime would go as far as inciting all-out war with the US, given that they would not enjoy the support of their fellow Gulf states.
Of course, the Iranian Regime may also be attempting to prove how important they are strategically. The Strait of Hormuz is a vital trade route and when the Iranians cut off access (as they have repeatedly threatened to do), goods ships are forced through more dangerous waters which would take longer and costs more.
Rafizadeh wrote: “For Iran, projecting power over the Strait of Hormuz and reminding the world of its nuclear programme are the way to ensure the survival of the Islamic Republic’s political establishment from foreign threats.”
It may also be a case of wanting to bolster their support at home. The Iranian Regime does not enjoy a great deal of support at home, which is no surprise as they are executing political prisoners and letting their people starve in the streets. However, when generals appear on TV bragging about forcing the Americans to retreat, it serves as a major distraction from civil unrest.
Rafizadeh wrote: “Since 1979, Iranian media has directed headlines towards its “enemies” in the Gulf and beyond, and it has created a state of constant emergency regarding national security to divert attention from domestic problems such as economic mismanagement, poverty, corruption and unemployment.”