US officials have reportedly signaled that plans have been approved for a series of strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria.
That would be in response to a recent drone attack on US personnel in the Middle East — which claimed the lives of three soldiers and left 34 wounded.
In the wake of the strike Bloomberg claimed the Biden administration was considering a covert strike on Iran or Iranian officials as possible options.
But University of Tehran Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi told Sputnik that directly targeting Iran would be a major mistake and a major miscalculation by Washington.
He suggested that scenario was very unlikely, given Iran’s missile defense and drone capabilities, as well as the vulnerability of US bases which are scattered across the Middle Eastern region.
“Let’s assume that the United States strikes Iran,” Marandi said. “The United States has bases all across the Persian Gulf. The Iranians will hit out at those bases, and then the Iranians will also punish those countries that host those bases.”
The professor warned the fallout from the tit-for-tat attacks would send oil and gas prices “through the roof.”
“The Red sea would no longer be safe for oil and gas. The Western economies would collapse if there was a major escalation in our region,” Marandi underlined. “The United States, its assets across Iraq would be crushed. It would be overrun and by extension Syria as well and Lebanon. The world has changed. This is not just Iran, by the way. This is the whole of West Asia.”
Given the latest US media reports, it appears far more plausible that the US would attack targets in Iraq and Syria, Marandi continued.
“[The US] will claim some sort of ‘victory over terrorists’ and that sort of nonsense which they usually say,” the professor said. “But it will be like in Yemen, they will have very little impact because the resistance to the US occupation, the illegal occupation in Iraq and Syria is very well hidden. Their assets are underground, they are spread out. And all the United States would do would be to make people angrier and make the resistance more popular, both at home and abroad. That’s exactly what we saw in Yemen.”
Marandi noted that most recently instead of pushing the Israeli regime to end the slaughter in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the US tried to facilitate the genocide by attacking Yemen. Since early January the US and its allies conducted a series of strikes against the Ansar Allah-led government in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, also known as the Houthis after their leader.
“They launched many missiles, wasted a lot of money, but they were incapable of changing the balance of power. And Yemen continues to easily strike ships. Why?” the professor asked. “Because all of their assets are underground. Their mobile radar is well-protected underground. They are missiles and drones are well protected underground. They come out, strike the target and go back underground. So the Americans failed in Yemen. They made ‘Ansar Allah,’ or what the West likes to call the Houthis, very popular across the region and across the world, and they’ll only do the same in Iraq and Syria.”
In the aftermath of the strikes the Biden administrations came under criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. A bipartisan group of House representatives, comprising such strange bedfellows as Republican Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green and New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, argued that the US’ “unauthorized strikes in Yemen” violate the Constitution and US statute.
They called on Biden “to seek authorization from Congress before involving the US in another conflict in the Middle East,” and warned the White House against provoking Iran and Iran-backed militia in the region which could swiftly spiral out of control and lead to a broader regional conflict.
US legislators’ concerns are justified as the US cannot afford to wage wars on multiple fronts, the academic pointed out.
“The United States cannot win another war,” said Marandi. “I have no doubt that if the Republicans were in charge, they would be… Whoever is in the white House, the people around him would be saying these things in private, and the Democrats in public would be denouncing the president for holding back. But the truth is that the United States is not the United States of the past. They can launch an attack on Iran. But the price would be extremely high and the United States wouldn’t win.”
Marandi questioned when the US had last won an overseas war.
“As the United States ‘won’ in Iraq as it won in Afghanistan. Did it win in Libya? Did it win in the genocide that it supported in Yemen? Did it win in Ukraine? The United States has a very poor record when it comes to launching wars and destroying nations and countries,” the academic said.
“They are capable of ruining lives and murdering millions and they don’t care. We see that in Gaza every day, but they simply don’t have the power to win. And Iran is not Iraq. Iran is not Libya. Iran is not Yemen. Iran is not Vietnam,” Marandi stressed. “Attacking Iran would be a catastrophic mistake for the United States, and something that I don’t think those decision makers in Washington would ever seriously contemplate”
“The Americans may be foolish enough to do so, but if they do so, then I think you’ll see the demise of the American empire take place much more rapidly than we’re seeing right now,” he concluded.