DUBAI/BAGHDAD – Iran spurned the U.S. president’s call for a new nuclear pact and its commanders threatened more attacks, after both sides backed off from intensified conflict following the U.S. killing of an Iranian general and Tehran’s retaliatory missile strikes.
Concern the Middle East was primed for a wider war eased after U.S President Donald Trump refrained from ordering more military action on Wednesday and Iran’s foreign minister diplomat said missile strikes “concluded” Tehran’s response.
But each side’s next move in their protracted shadow war was uncertain, although Iranian generals resumed their habitual barrage of warnings to Washington, Reuters reports.
The conflict with Iran is nothing new to the United States, as President Donald Trump and his advisers contemplate the next steps to take in the conflict with Iran, they are focused primarily on two historical events. First, the seizure of the 52 American hostages at our embassy in Iran in 1979 and Iran’s role in killing hundreds of our troops after our invasion and occupation of Iraq.
In fact, the president has said that if Iran takes military action against us or our allies, he has a list of 52 high level targets that are important to Iran and Iranian culture that he would destroy because that is the number of Americans who were held hostage for 440 days in Tehran from 1979 to 1981.
Similarly, when justifying our killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the president and his secretary of state have constantly pointed out that the general was responsible for the killing of about 800 American military personnel in Iraq after our invasion.
- When we took out the top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani,, officials from the Pentagon and President Donald Trump were careful to make clear the strike was meant to head off an imminent attack on Americans.
- President Trump has subsequently made clear — notably in comments Tuesday from the Oval Office — that he was also motivated by retribution after the death of an American contractor at an Iraqi military base, possibly caused by Iranian-backed militias, or violent protests at the US Embassy in Baghdad.
- Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis – the deputy chief of the Iraqi, largely pro-Iran, paramilitary force Hashed al-Shaabi – was also killed.
- Iran promised to take revenge. Its close ally, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement said punishment for those responsible will be the “task of all resistance fighters worldwide.”
- Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad after the U.S. launched airstrikes on an Iranian-backed militia.
- U.S. deployed 2 Apache Helicopters and 100 Marines to the Embassy to squash the violence
- Iran targeted the Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq and a second U.S. base at Irbil with some two dozen ballistic missiles.
- President trump responds with sanctions
Since the attacks Iran has threatened the United States and Israel, should any further retaliation for their attacks happen.
There is also a lot of speculation that the attacks were carried out with advanced warning to the bases so that no casualties would take place and Iran would “appear” strong without actually escalating the conflict.
However, the Iranian missile attacks on two bases in Iraq were meant to kill U.S. troops and inflict major damage although they caused no casualties, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday.
The ballistic missile launches “were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment, and to kill personnel. That’s my own personnel assessment,” Milley said.
Trump also said it was time for world powers to replace the 2015 nuclear accord with a new deal that would allow Iran to “thrive and prosper”.
Iran’s UN ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said in response that Tehran could not trust any idea of dialogue when Trump was threatening to intensify the “economic terrorism” of sanctions, the official news agency IRNA reported.
Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards also issued new threats to Washington, with one senior commander warning of “harsher revenge soon” and another saying Wednesday’s missile strikes were only the start of a series of attacks across the region.
The new head of the Quds Force, which handles Iran’s foreign military operations, said he would follow the course pursued by his slain predecessor Soleimani.
“We will continue in this luminous path with power,” Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani said.
In the days after the U.S. airstrike, the Iranian government announced it will no longer abide by any of the operational restraints on its nuclear program under the 2015 deal with the international community, which the Trump administration withdrew the United States from in May 2018. Meanwhile, Iraq’s parliament voted on Sunday to expel American troops from the country.
When asked whether U.S. troops will be pulled from the region, Pence said, “We have no plans to change our military posture in Iraq or in the region.”
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune