Professor Volker Perthes: "Trump brings Iran on its knees"
Director of Germany’s leading government think tank, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP Berlin), political expert, professor Volker Perthes, speaking with journalist Gabor Steingart, commented on the current situation in the Middle East in the context of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, which became more acute in recent weeks. According to Perthes, U.S. President Donald Trump "has unequivocally brought Iran on its knees." “Iranians never had such a hard time in economic terms as now. But I highly doubt that the U.S. will consider that these actions would be enough to bring down the Iranian regime,” the expert believes.
Answering the question of whether the withdrawal of of U.S. diplomats from Iraq can be considered a harbinger of a new war, the expert said: “At the moment, tensions in the Middle East and Iraq, where there are both American soldiers and pro-Iranian military formations, remain high. In this situation, the risk of a military confrontation becomes especially great, therefore the U.S. withdraws its diplomatic personnel from Iraq. Abstractively, these actions can be explained by the “Bolton principle”: first, tensions are deliberately created, after which they say that it is necessary to do something because of these dangerous tensions."
At the same time, John Bolton advocates a military regime change in Iran, while Donald Trump opposes this scenario. “At least in this matter there is no mutual understanding between the president and his closest adviser,” Volker Perthes noted.
“The deployment of the navy and the bombers to the Persian Gulf is part of the strategy to whip up tension. We know that the the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships were expected to be sent from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean anyway, so they only made a small detour through the Persian Gulf. This step can be viewed as a necessity. After all, the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization and the last, most stringent sanctions against Iran caused tension in the last two weeks," the director of SWP Berlin commented on the growing U.S. military presence in the region.
The German expert predicts that the world will witness new military actions in the near future. This may not necessarily be a big war, it can be limited to sporadic small clashes. Perthes compared the current situation in the Middle East with the Thirty Years' War in Europe, because of the religion's role in conflicts. However, today's conflict is not about religion, but about the struggle for domination and power in the economically and politically significant Middle Eastern region.