Should the US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf surprise us?

According to the editorialist of the London Arabic-language newspaper Rai al-Youm, the comments of US National Security Advisor John Bolton about the sending of the USS Abraham Lincoln to the Middle East are intended to mask the failure of the US plot to reduce Iran’s oil exports via the Strait of Hormuz to zero.

In his article published this Tuesday, May 7 by Rai al-Youm, Atwan recounts an Arabic proverb whose French equivalent would be “dog that barks does not bite”. The proverb corresponds well to the behaviour of the Trump administration. Few people in the world would take seriously the threats made by the current tenant of the White House, the article adds.

Sending an American aircraft carrier to the region is nothing new. “American ships, escorted by military ships, have never definitively left the Persian Gulf,” says Atwan, adding:

“The United States has a naval base in Bahrain, an air base (al-Udeid) in Qatar, a land base in Kuwait and more than 6,000 troops in Iraq. Despite this large military presence, Iran, the major regional power with its own domestically manufactured missiles, submarines, and fighters, continues to pose a threat to the interests of the United States, Israel and their allies in the region. »

According to Rai al-Yum, the United States is not seeking to engage in a war against Iran, although its forces are ready to respond to possible attacks against US interests.

“In fact, as long as Iranian oil exports continue and the second round of US sanctions to reduce them to zero is ineffective, no war will take place between the two sides,” Rai al-Youm added.

The Arab analyst adds that John Bolton’s threats are intended to bring the Iranians back to the negotiating table, much as they were in the case of North Korea.

“But Iran will not accept it. Iranian President Hassan Rohani has already recalled this: more than once, the Americans have asked for dialogue. The last time, it would have been on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2018, but Tehran rejected the US request because of its mistrust of the Trump government, especially after the unilateral US withdrawal of the Iranian nuclear agreement[known as the PGAC, Joint Global Action Plan]. And Tehran knows very well that the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang will not lead to anything. »

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