The battle with ISIS savages may be over for now, but the battle for supremacy in the Middle East is in full swing. The main powers battling this undeclared battle for supremacy are Iran and Saudi Arabia. One is fully backed by the Russians (Iran) and the other (Saudi Arabia) by the United States.
In classic Cold War fashion, each world power has its own personal surrogate. The latest maneuver involves Iranian warships preparing to depart the waters of the Persian Gulf to sail halfway around the world to the Gulf of Mexico.
Iran’s provocative naval plans include a new naval commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi. He held his first press conference announcing his fleet’s departure for the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico via port visits to various South American countries.
The move comes at a time that President Trump and his Middle Eastern allies, that includes Israel and Saudi Arabia, are following a strategy of isolation of the rogue Shiite regime in Teheran. Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported, "Sailing in open waters between Europe and Americas should be the navy’s goal, which will be realized in the near future."
Iran’s navy is highly out-gunned and no real threat to the U.S. However, Khanzadi has pledged to introduce new vessels and submarines next year to bolster Iran’s navy. That includes the new Peykan-class missile-launching corvette Separ that will join the fleet in the Caspian Sea. There are also plans to refurbish and renovate older vessels and a new airport for the navy in the southeastern port city of Jask, along the Makran coast.
The Islamic Republic, as Iran enjoys being called, has been an arch rival of the U.S. since the fall of Shah Mohammad Reva Pahlavi in 1979. Since that time, the U.S. has firmly backed the ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim power in the Middle East, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Their relations with Iran have become increasingly hostile as the two Middle East powers struggle of the hearts and minds of other regional countries.
As this escalation of wills escalates, Israel has offered to help Saudi Arabia constrain Iran's expanding foothold. The Jewish State is considered the premier military power in the Middle East backed by the U.S. with the latest weaponry. President Trump has declared on multiple occasions that he firmly backs both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The president’s endorsement of the two countries includes his decertification of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama. The controversial agreement is unpopular with both U.S. and Iranian hardline conservatives. With its inception over two years ago, the agreement freed billions in Iranian assets in exchange for Tehran promising to curb its nuclear production.
Since that time, international bodies have found Iran to be in compliance. However, Trump wants Congress to review the agreement which was not the case when Obama made the deal.
Meanwhile, Iran is the guiding power in the Middle East in such notable countries as Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Iran’s military and cultural alliance with the Russians has been growing steadily.
The Russians want influence in the region and found it in Syria with their support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. That alliance has allowed the Russians to build a major seaport for their navy in the region. Russia’s monetary aid to the Syrian president allowed Assad to overcome a protracted civil war with the jihadis and insurgents.
Presently, Assad’s enemies are floundering and a new Turkish government is forming an alliance with Russia, even though they are a key member of NATO. They have joined the Russians and Iranians on their side of the peace table to end the fighting in Syria. The U.S. sits across the table supported by the Arab states and Saudi Arabia.
Now Iran will test the U.S. with their naval movements into the Western Hemisphere as a surrogate for Russian President Vladimir Putin. They have political support from some Latin American countries that purportedly offered them assistance with Iran’s Lebanese Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah.
The Middle East situation and Iran’s excursion into America’s backyard hold the classic elements for another Cold War between Russia and the United States. The stakes for the rest of the world could not be any higher.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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