The ongoing verbal and media duel between America and Iran is shifting from an excessively high temper to weakness which does not reflect the real situation of the two parties.
Regional countries which seem confused do nothing but follow up the exchange of statements and then analyze them. I do not think they can do anything more.
The entire region is living in dusk which follows the sunset and paves way to full darkness. Neither America nor Iran is serious in carrying out its threat. Manipulation through the use of words included in the statements is the common factor, especially by Iranians who are very good in doing so. I remember that I studied in history the wonderful ability of Persians to choose their words carefully, how they control their temper and remain calm especially in long negotiations.
According to the present data and modern history facts, military confrontation is unlikely to occur between the two parties. This is illogical due to common interests which prevent any of the two parties from initiating an attack. The vacillating and contradictory statements of America against Iran support my opinion. Such contradictions raise questions, at least to the allies of America.
America has trustworthy allies in the Gulf. There is no problem in America’s trust in these allies as the problem lies in their trust in America.
During the term of former Democratic president Barack Obama, the Gulf-American relations dwindled. That period witnessed the worst level of relations between the two parties. During the term of President Donald Trump, the region suffered from contradictory situations despite the efforts exerted by Gulf countries to push relations forward. Nevertheless, the attitude of Trump’s administration was not as good as desired by the Gulf countries. Americans have no desire to solve the Gulf crisis despite the fact that it owns a number of papers which would have helped reach a solution. Apparently, America is not interested in the crisis, so it does not care if it is solved or not.
It is not easy to win the trust of a friend but it is much harder to restore a lost trust. Russia keeps watching the situation and seeks new allies while the economic giant China is keeping an eye on the Gulf economy where there are plenty of investment opportunities. The Gulf-American relations might lose the reason to continue as per the previous trust. At least, the common interests of America and Gulf countries might fly in the air waiting for the clever party to catch them.
Stalemate is the enemy of politics. American interests in the Gulf and the Gulf countries’ interests in America are bigger than being a subject of manipulation by statements which might put any of the parties in depressing situations.
Dusk still precedes full darkness which will come soon. I do not know if trust between America and Gulf countries can lighten up the dark night or the Iranians will control the amount of light through verbal and media confrontation with the Republican administration.
By Yusuf Awad Al-Azmi
“Trust others but not blindly.”
– Venli Peter Dan