Picking a fight with Iran
Could fascist-led Israel be foolish enough to goad the US into an attack?
We do not know the reasons that prompted Sheikh Hamad bin-Jassim Al Thani, Qatar’s former prime minister and foreign minister, to post a string of tweets warning of “a possible US/Israeli military action that could shake security and stability in the Gulf region” with “grave economic, political, and social consequences.”
بات الوضع في منطقتنا الخليجية محفوفاً بالمخاطر ويستدعي من الجميع الانتباه الدائم تحسبا لأي احتمالات. فالغرب بقيادة الولايات المتحدة لم يتوصل حتى الآن إلى اتفاق يعيد الاتفاق النووي مع إيران إلى الحياة.
— حمد بن جاسم بن جبر (@hamadjjalthani) January 14, 2023
But we do know that while he has theoretically left office, Sheikh Hamad remains one of his country’s key decision-makers, with close ties to the US and other Western countries and their security agencies and deep-state decision-makers, thanks to his extensive business connections and role in managing Qatar’s enormous overseas investments. This — in addition to Qatar’s favoured status that grants it something close to full membership of NATO — gives him access to many secrets and decisions taken behind closed doors.
Yes, Israel under its current fascist government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has made the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities a top priority. Chief of Staff Gen. Aviv Kochavi declared last week that Iran has enough enriched uranium to make four nuclear bombs. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is expected in Tel Aviv shortly to arrange a visit by Netanyahu to Washington to confer with President Joe Biden about the Iran nuclear file, and possibly decide the timing of an attack against it.
Hamad bin-Jassim was the chief ‘architect’ of the so-called Arab Spring revolutions. He spoke openly on TV about the billions of dollars his country spent on overthrowing various regimes and recruiting and arming opposition fighters. He certainly wouldn’t have posted those tweets with the aim of attracting ‘likes’ or becoming more famous, or make such a serious move without coordinating with his government. His intention was to convey messages to various parties, at the instigation of someone-or-other, including putting pressure on Iran to return to the nuclear talks in Vienna and quickly conclude a new nuclear agreement.
There is no question that the Arab Gulf States would be harmed most by any Israeli/US aggression against Iran, especially Qatar which hosts the biggest US military base in the region and perhaps the entire world. The base and its commanders will be at the heart of any forthcoming war. The warplanes that bomb Iran’s military and economic infrastructure will take off from there, which will make it a prime target for Iranian retaliation. Hence the concerns expressed by Sheikh Hamad in his tweets.
Iran’s military and political leaders have warned time and again that US bases in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will be legitimate targets for Iranian retaliation if any US/Israeli attack is launched against the country.
Israel has officially asked the US to supply it with upgraded long-range F-15s and other defence systems. This could well be related to preparations for an attack on Iran. But the question remains: would the US and Israel dare open a new front against Iran while the war in Ukraine is going badly, with Russia engaged in a counter-offensive and economically challenged European allies becoming increasingly averse to the war?
The other Gulf states have yet to react to Sheikh Hamad’s remarks, despite the Qatari-owned media highlighting them. This may be due to the growing undeclared differences between most of the six countries. So, were these tweets aimed at urging the Gulf states to settle those differences and close ranks in anticipation of the existential threats they would all face as a consequence of this “possible” war?
We have no answers to these questions. But we can expect that there may cease to be an ‘Israel’ as we know it if its leaders are foolish enough to attack Iran – with or without US participation. The same can be said of most of the Gulf states. We know how wars can be started, but not how or when they might end.