U.S. President Donald Trump and his entourage have evidently lost the “war at home”. The internal struggle is all but entirely concluded, and the victors are Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democratic Party.
However, Trump and Co., in their last days in office are still dead set on proving they are in charge of the Middle East, and on guaranteeing that their “maximum pressure campaign” on Iran continues. And both sides are flexing muscles showing that they are ready for military confrontation at any moment.
Tehran revealed its new helicopter carrier – the Makran, as well as a brand-new missile launching warship – the Zereh. Iran continues amassing forces along its sea border in the Persian Gulf and is tightening its grip on the Strait of Hormuz.
US Satellite imagery has revealed an increase in activity by IRGC vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
In just the first days of the year, Iran carried out a large-scale drone drill, showcasing loitering munitions and more, closely followed by a naval exercise.
The elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps revealed their own underground missile base near the Persian Gulf, promising to realize their threat of turning the US aircraft carriers into “sinking submarines.”
On its part, the United States sent their nuclear submarine, the USS Georgia, loaded to the brink with Tomahawk missiles, accompanied by two guided missile destroyers, to the Persian Gulf.
They joined the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, which was initially set to depart, but which has instead remained.
To top it all off, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the new “home base” of Al-Qaeda is Iran and went pretty close to claiming that Iran was even behind the organization of 9/11.
That took place just days after Pompeo vowed to designate Yemen’s Houthis, longstanding Iranian allies, as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is also on high alert. Its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah vowed to support Iran and thanked it again for its support.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei warned the US against “extraterritorial adventurism” and its actions do appear to be evidence of that.
At the same time, Donald Trump is desperate for a “win” or at least to show himself as a decision-maker, after being banned from all social media. It could also be his aim to damage the relations between Tehran and Washington beyond repair.
Incoming President Joe Biden is expected to attempt to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal in one way or another, which could lead to improving relations between the two sides and bring a semblance of calm to the Middle East.
There is no certainty that this would happen and, depending on which actions would be undertaken by both Iran and the USA, this could also contribute to a deepening rift between the two.
In regard to the conflict between Iran and Israel, the parliament in Tehran voted on a resolution to end the state of Israel by 2041. While Biden is expected to be less supportive of Tel Aviv than Trump, the United States will remain Israel’s key ally. Therefore, an end to the conflict between the sides is as unlikely as ever, but Israel may, for the first time in a while, be on retreat.